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Tom Diegel’s Gallivants (and Occasional Rants) Posts

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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Patagonia Fishing Boots Part III

Parts one and two of the Patagonia Fishing Boot tale described the quick initiation of the project and the research that we did to lay the groundwork for the design of the boots, which is always the funnest part of projects.  The hard part comes next: what do to with our newfound knowledge?  Can we actually create a product that fulfills the needs that we’ve identified, and if so, can the even more difficult task…

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Patagonia Fishing Boots: Part II

Part 1 of this series was the series of events that led me to start work on creating a revolutionary new piece of footwear that might hopefully satisfy one of the most infamously picky fishing customers ever in terms of both riparian performance and financial viability (who are we kidding, Yvon Chouinard has not built a wildly successful company without a serious nod towards profitability, despite the nice idea of “letting his people go surfing”).  …

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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…

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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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