I have taught the ways of the wilderness for well over thirty years and have authored a novel which dives deep into the shadows that follow you as you traverse wilderness trails. It is my hope to reach as many people as possible to tell everyone that the wilderness is not a place to be wary of. It is the only place where a person can dig deep into their soul and find that which is hidden to them by modern day society.
~ R.G. Wright - Hawks Shadow

Thursday, May 2, 2024

First Paddle of 2024 - This Feels Great


 Winter has drifted into spring and the temperature is slowly climbing into the "no jacket required" zone.

While winter held sway on the wilderness; I would open the barn door; behind which my prospector canoe hung upside down from the ceiling joists. The canoe seemed to stare at me and ask if it was time to take her down. I would touch her hull and whisper a simple word  "Soon". 

The tracing of snow we received this year; began to melt and the forest started to fill with the sounds of missing friends as they alighted on branches and called out to their mates. 

During this time of seasonal transition, I would wander to the edge of a nearby lake and test the ice which clung to the waters surface as if trying to defy the rising temperatures. 

One of those wanders provided me a green light to take my canoe down; set her up for a new season of paddling; and set off on a short excursion to find the skills which had been dormant for many months. 

The video posted is simply an account of that first paddle of 2024.  

You must remember that as the years slip past us, it leaves us with fewer years remaining to enjoy that which makes our hearts fulfilled. Don't procrastinate doing that which you love to do - just do it; because tomorrow is indeed, just around the corner. 

When the time comes that I can no longer paddle, I will be able to look back at these images and feel what it was to hold the paddle and face the wind and waves as a man of the wilderness. 





Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wild Thoughts


 Winter is hanging up it's apron; soon spring will work its magic and paint the forest with a symphony of green hues. Time is never stationary; it slips by like a ghost in the mist. Many people do not realize just how fast the nights become days and the days turn into nights. Most live their lives thinking of the next event, never stopping to relish the moment in which they presently find themselves. 

Before long, the mirror you look into reflects the image of a person who has the trials and tribulations of life etched across their face, and we are shocked at how fast it all happened. 

These thoughts hit me as I was tracking a wolf which had visited the land upon which I reside. 


This mammal belongs to the sub-species known as the Algonquin Wolf. It's smaller than the well known Timber Wolf and looks similar to a coyote.



The temperature was ten degrees below freezing and the wind was steady from the west, the sky was painted in a deep blue hue with no trace of clouds. 

As I followed in the wake of this amazing predator; I read the story it had left in the snow, along with that of the prey it was following. 
Each paw print was a snapshot of a moment in time. As I turned to look behind me, I noticed that I too; had left snapshots of moments which will never be mine again.

I stopped and stood motionless, my breath was visible as I exhaled into the cold air. The mist would hover around me and disappear until my next breath.  I wondered how many more of these moments will I have before father time calls my name and I pass from the realm of the living, to the great mystery we call death; these thoughts may seem morbid, but anyone who has reached my age has pondered them.  

As I stood there on that late winter day; cocooned in the silence of the forest, pondering the question of mortality; a small bundle of wonderous energy alighted on a branch directly beside my face. The little bird sang out its song  "chick a dee dee dee" whilst starring at me all the while twisting it's head side to side as if wondering what was wrong with me.

The birds little black eyes looked into mine and I saw my reflection, my mind shifted.  
That little bundle of wilderness pulled me from my musings and brought me back to the world of the "Here and Now."


Dusk had turned to night before I decided to leave the trail and head for home. The walk through the darkening forest was tranquil and serein. My feet  seemed to float over the snow as my eyes caught every furtive movement within range. I left the heavy weight of the future behind me and was able to pass through the woods living in the very moment which I found myself in. 

I turned to examine my back trail, and was delighted to see that each track I had left was illuminated by the light of the full moon. 



I understood the power of such a sight; each foot print is indeed a moment in time, and each time that I placed my foot on the ground, I had been present for that very moment and not lost in the worries of time yet to come. 

The future is not written, the past teaches us how to deal with the present. The present is the only time that we truly have. 

It took a Wolf and a Chickadee to re-educate me on how to live in the moment. To feel my feet as they touch the earth; to feel my heart pump life throughout my body and feel the touch of brother cold on my face and hands. 

Life is tough, no question about it. Taking time to live the present moment will help you deal with anything the future may throw at you. Plan for the future, just don't dwell on it. Deal with it when it becomes the present.  

This indeed is a life long struggle. Society is predicated on the procurement of the next best thing. As soon as the present is open, we are taught to look for the next present, not relishing the one that is within our grasp. 


Musings from the wild place I call home. 




  

 

 


 

 

 

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Why Use A Hiking Pole?


 
The forest has a way of seeping into your soul and showing you life the way I believe it is meant to be; not a conjuring of peoples imagination and indifference. 

Hiking in the woods is a passion of mine; it has been thus since I was a young boy. Many years ago I was told to carry a walking staff to aid me in my wanderings. At first; as most young boys do, I didn't listen. Many adventures later, I learned to grab my staff prior to entering the woods. 


The land is full of surprises such as streams which are too wide to jump across, puddles which are so thick with mud you will sacrifice a shoe should you decide to wade through them. 

A good walking staff will aid you in your hiking. It can be used for so many different purposes, it has remained a constant companion mine for many years. 

Pole vault across a wide stream and you will see how fun a forest wander can be. Use it to test the depth of a puddle before deciding to offer the seemingly innocent body of water your foot. 

Hang your pack from it to keep it off the wet ground or use it as the main post of a shelter should the rain force you to hunker down for a spell. 

These are just a few of the uses a good staff will provide you. 

Happy wandering

Monday, October 9, 2023

Shelter In The Woods


 I have seen a major increase in shelters being built in wilderness places. Most of these are built simply for the sole purpose of gaining views on YouTube. 

The amount of damage that is left behind by the builders is brutal. Young trees by the dozens cut down, ground dug up, large Balsam Fir's cut down for their branches, moss pulled out of the ground in bucket loads, It's freaking shameful. 

The shelter depicted in this video was created out of used lumber. The unit is self standing with no ground penetration. I built it so that I could take it apart and move it should the need arise. 



I realize that it looks invasive; however, I can attest to the fact that many wild animals have used this shelter for a place to "hang out". Porcupines, Red Squirrels, Chipmunks and a host of other furry critters have left their mark on this cozy place in the woods.  

This is the perfect place to hang up my gear, light a fire and melt into the forest which surrounds me. 

Happy Wandering







Saturday, September 2, 2023

Pit Fires - Why You Should Not Use Them


 Pit Fires are a craze on YouTube which drives me nuts for the following reason.

How it is done and why it should not be used:

A vertical pit is dug into the ground to a depth of a foot or more. An angled hole is then dug beside the main hole and intersects the main pit at the bottom. 

This provides air to the fire which will be stoked in the main pit. The setup provides for a very efficient fire which is relatively smokeless; however, there is a major issue with this technique being used in forests. 

Forest floors are comprised of a layer of humus which is extremely combustible. A fire lit within this layer poses a major threat because of its ability to spread unseen for hours.  

I have witnessed this kind of fire spread and it is scary to say the least. 

The fire had traveled at least 20 feet from it's origin to where I was walking - bare foot. 
When I scraped the ground with a stick, flames erupted and then mass panic ensued. 
Luckily, there was a pressurized water source nearby which was used to extinguish the fire. 

Had I not discovered the fire - by happenstance - the forest would have erupted in flame. All of this was the fault of myself and my fellow campers. 

We were; at the time, novices and had no idea that our actions could have had serious consequences. 

I produced this video with the hope that fellow campers will opt for one of the alternatives shown or devise another which will be safe for them and the forest in which they choose to camp.

Wander and Wonder.
 

Sunday, July 30, 2023

2023 Subaru Outback Wilderness - Can it get me there?

 


The Subaru Outback Wilderness Wagon is touted as being an off road capable machine - easily holding it's own on rough roads and terrain. 

I had decided to camp at a site which could be accessed via two routes, one was via a portage trail and the other was via an unmaintained logging road. 

This road has claimed everything from tailpipes to bumpers; however, I decided that it was time to put the vehicle to the test and take a chance running this wild stretch of dirt road. 

My resolve was firm but my nerves were questioning my decision when the Subi's front wheels hit the first rut. 

It wasn't long before the Wilderness in the Outback taught me to calm down and have fun, as this powerful vehicle tackled the road and showed me that the Subi was more than up to the task. 

Happy Wandering

Camp Gear for Every Trip

 


Every person who has ever carried a knapsack or provision bag across a portage trail knows that every pound counts. 

There are; however, certain items which simply can't be left at home. 

This video shows the basic items which are necessary for an enjoyable camping experience. 

Happy Camping.  
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