A catch all box for payments, log sheets and lost & found items. [An artifact of Coach Gunn's running years. His adult runners (Monday Night Running Club) would pass the hat to pay expenses when traveling to a destination to run. One of the members with wood working skills made the first box. Falling apart it was replaced by a hiker's husband. The Jog Pot is better than a hat.]
In keeping with his athletic background, Rookie is Coach Gunn's term for newcomers to his training programs. After completing a major hiking tour you are called Alumni or Veteran. If you really screw up you will achieve the title of Bonehead (easy to acquire but takes quiet a while to lose).
HOF: Hours On Feet: A measure Coach Gunn developed and uses for equivalent training. His signature training centers around the goal of preparing for a one day hike across the Grand Canyon (a marathon-like challenge). There is no way to simulate every challenge this mile deep canyon offers. Distance comparisons don't work however time proved an effective measure for setting training goals and measuring readiness.
Not everyone on any tour is required to complete a Test Hike. They are required for extreme hike candidates only. Others may join these hikes to hike a lesser distance for the enjoyment of the destination.
The Test Hike is used to prove fitness level (but only required for extreme hike candidates). For major destinations there is usually one extreme hike. The max distances set at each training hike provide the necessary progression to meet the training goals to pass the Test Hikes.
The toughest hike at each destination. Often defined as marathon-like. Taking on this challenge is optional. Perhaps 40% on any tour do this on average while most travelers train for moderate to high level of fitness. Extreme hikes in general take 8 to 12 hours at a high pace in remote conditions with much elevation gain.
For a few decades Coach Gunn taught adult Marathon Running classes every few years at SMC (Southwestern Michigan College). The final exam was to run the Honolulu Marathon as the center piece of a two week three island running/hiking tour. This evolved into an extreme sports class with a day hike across Grand Canyon as final exam. and Cairn Stone Adventure Tours, LLC was formed in 2007 after his retirement from the college. Now he finds one great hike at each travel destination to challenge those hikers looking for a marathon-like challenge. The more sensible hikers take on a lesser goal and thoroughly enjoy these adventure tours.
Dean of Fitness & Wellness at SMC, Coach Gunn was tasked with improving student retention. His solution? Extreme Sports. SMC became only one of four colleges or universities in the US with Extreme Sports. Classes included: Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Snowboarding, Rock Climbing, Whitewater Rafting, and Hiking. In 2004 two bus loads of adults and students hiked at Grand Canyon. 42 trained 8 months, passed 2 Test Hikes and successfully day hiked from North Rim to South Rim at the Grand Canyon.
Coach Gunn retired from SMC at the end of 2006. He was then free to form his LLC in 2007 to continue his passion full time to train adults to their personal best and guide them to great experiences in great destinations. Experiences only possible with the fitness levels such as achieved by his training program. Eight months training allows travelers to have a common bonding experience that has proven year after year to make for the best travel experience of your life! "Ron's training program weeds out all the whiners." Thom J.
Fire Up is Coach Gunn's signature call. It means; "keep up the good work," "you can do it," "great job," and "stay positive," Always a declaration of encouragement. Coach borrowed this from the steam train days when the Fireman would alert the Engineer that the fire was up, the water boiling and all is ready to go.
The silent version of this is his clenched fist and bent arm pumped up and down.