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Tom Diegel’s Gallivants (and Occasional Rants) Posts

Patagonia Fishing Boots The Story

A year and a half ago I did a post with the story of the Patagonia River shoes, and at the end I “promised” to do another on the story of the Patagonia Fishing Boots.  It’s taken me a long time, but with a little help from a friend (more on that later) I’m finally able to sit down and share this tale. Firstly, I am not a fisherman.  I love all sorts of outdoor…

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(Almost) Cycling in the Beaver Dam Mountains

Ashley’s birthday is in mid-November, which can be a challenging time of year; a bit early for good skiing, a bit late for summer-type activities, it can be pretty cold, and the nights are long for camping. This past weekend was no exception, but since we got shut down on another European bike tour this summer and the window was closing for viable bike tours until spring she decided that a southwestern Utah bike tour…


Atomic Backland Carbon Boot Review

While generally I love fall, I have often said that the best fall season is when it’s warm warm warm….and then the switch is flipped and it starts snowing, and thus it is winter.  This keeps the trails and mountains still accessible for hikes and runs pretty late and then builds up a decent snowpack quickly that hopefully will enable some snowpack stability.  But the truth is that my ideal scenario rarely happens; more often…

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Packrafting in American Whitewater Part IV

The folks at American Whitewater have been kind enough to indulge me by publishing a series of articles about packrafting in their 2020 issues. As a result, there’s no doubt that both of the people who read the articles are charging out and buying packrafts as we speak! According to the editor of the magazine I’ve said all there is to be said (he clearly doesn’t know me very well!) and this will be the…

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The Art of Conversation….Part II

A few years ago I wrote a blog post I audaciously called “The Art of Conversation”, which no doubt plagiarized the title of some book and in which I talked about my perception of how to have valuable conversations (in fact, after I wrote that sentence, I googled it, and indeed, there is a book!  Maybe I should read it…) Since then I’ve not only thought about conversations a lot, I’d like to think I’ve…

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A Lap Around St Helens

In the spring of 1980 the Pacific Northwest was all abuzz about Mount St Helens.  Our local snowcone of a mountain: was coming to life with small eruptions that left ash streaks that lay vivid against the late season snowpack.  It was fun and interesting and a good reminder that our volcanoes were only dormant, not dead, though having crawled up Mount Hood the prior year (it took our group something like 10 hours to…

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An Ode to Chan Zwanzig

Many moons ago, at the beginning of the era where kayaking seemed to be exploding in popularity and some idealistic lads and lasses thought that they might be able to make a living paddling rivers, I went to the Kern Fest; an annual river festival in Kernville, which was The Rendezvous Spot for the surprising number of river lovers in SoCal, and for a week in the spring, also a magnet for people from all…

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Packrafting in American Whitewater Magazine: Part III

This year the editor of the venerable American Whitewater Journal has been kind enough to indulge me (and the rest of the vast packraft world?) by letting me write a series of articles about packrafting. It’s been a really fun project so far. The first introductory/history article is here, and the second (using the River of Return trip as an example of what a packrafting trip can be) is here (starting on page 24). The…

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Wind River High Route

In 2007 I had the good fortune to go to the Wind River range’s famous Cirque Of The Towers to climb with my friend Marc Appling, and it was a week I’ll never forget.  Despite the fact that Marc was a guide in the Tetons and spent his summers dragging gumbies up climbs, he was gracious enough to spend a week with yet another gumby in the Winds, dragging me up the biggest and best…


Marc Appling Remembrance

It’s been over 10 years since the SLC and Jackson communities lost Marc Appling to suicide. I paddled the Bear River last weekend and went past this waterfall and remembered Marc finding the rubber ducky there. Marc wasn’t necessarily a “name” in the kayak world, but I felt like he shoulda been given his history, so I wrote a remembrance in the Fall 2010 American Whitewater Journal.