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Tom Diegel’s Gallivants (and Occasional Rants) Posts

Paddling the Flashy Paria

Our Paria adventure started as many adventures do:  a text message came in asking “hey, you busy tomorrow?”  For the first time in three years the Southwest monsoon cycles had been firing this summer, and they seemed to be making up for lost time and water, with more and bigger rain events than normal sweeping through all of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, and they were also stacking up on each other.  This caused a…

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Packrafting the Susitna and Talkeetna rivers, twice each!

If you’re a packrafter, or even someone who might be mildly interested in packrafting (or read the first of the series of articles I wrote about packrafting for American Whitewater; page 14) you know that Alaska is not only the birthplace but also kind of the motherland of packrafting.  Heck, for that matter, Alaska is practically the birthplace and motherland for nearly all outdoor adventuring; there’s a reason that tales of adventure from Jack London…

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American Whitewater Journal the tale of an Argentinian River trip

I have been a member of American Whitewater since I started paddling long ago, and have always felt good about sending them money. The Journal is fun, and AW has been a huge advocate for rivers around the country since the 1960’s. Last year they indulged me to do a series on packrafting, and this year I did a piece that described some good (South) American whitewater: a trip we did with Rocky Contos and…

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Idaho Ski Raft trip – Part III

The Marsh Creek start to floating the Middle Fork of the Salmon has never had much appeal for me; its reputation is that of a swift creek with lots of wood (ie trees that have fallen across the entire span of the river) and few eddies to suss out what’s downstream and escape the river to avoid said wood.  Rafts in particular have a tough go, since rafts aren’t as nimble as kayaks/pack rafts and…

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Idaho SkiRaft Adventure – Part II

While Jeff Creamer is a bit of a wunderkind packrafter (he’s never really paddled a hardshell boat before, yet has paddled some of the most difficult whitewater in the West) by his own admission his skiing is not necessarily up to the level of his paddling.  But his obsessive map researching and subsequent good route development capabilities are definitely class 5, and he’s a bloodhound on CalTopo, which I can only begin to decipher.  Jeff…

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Idaho Ski Raft Trip – Part I

Most of us like to play in the mountains, and most of us like to play in the rivers as well.  Intuitively, of course, we know that the are interconnected:  snow falls in the mountains, melts, and flows into creeks that join to become rivers, and even mountains that don’t retain enough snow to feed rivers with runoff generate cloud lift that in turn creates rain that feeds rivers.   But despite their connection, we as…

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An Early COVID tale, part II: More pivoting, and friends in the Desert

Once again I feel a little self-conscious about talking about MY early COVID tale, but again it is a tale that I’ve retold a few times on skin tracks and such, so  -in the spirit of sharing good tales – I’ll go ahead and share it here.  Before I went to France I found out that the New England Canyoneering Team (the Hanlons) were coming out to Utah for their annual canyoneering fest for their…

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An Early COVID tale

So it’s been a year since the world came crashing down on us with the advent of COVID-19, as I’ve been reminded by the media over the last couple of days.  Little did we all know on March 11, 2020 what our world would be like for the next year.  At best it’s been a bit awkward, at worst – as I heard on a story on NPR – there are people who haven’t been…

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The Beauty of The New

Ah, a New Year!  Of course, this one is more of a “thing” than most New Years; the common consensus, of course is that 2020 was a bad year and that any new year past that has got to portend better days.  But equally “of course”, the coronavirus doesn’t give a shit what day, month, or year it is, and there is no doubt that 2021 could indeed be worse.  Certainly it has started out…

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Goosing Around with Tuolumne Bob

It was Memorial Day on the Tuolumne river near Yosemite National park, normally a very busy time.  But that year had a nice big snowpack in the Sierras, and “The T” was running at about 8000 cfs, which is pretty high for that river; certainly too high for the commercial raft companies that haunt that river, and thus it was pretty empty.  I had been on a trip with some other folks but we had…

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