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    Dirtbag Diaries: What We Had

    Flyfisher Happy New Year. We're starting 2011 off right with the first-ever fly fishing story to be shared on the Dirtbag Diaries. Host Fitz Cahall introduces today's podcast:

    Mark Rutherford and John Merritt grew up sharing the same sand box. As they grew up, they each followed separate paths. John had a successful career in the Chicago financial world. Mark moved to Alaska and raised a family in tiny cabin he built with his own hands. Twenty years ago, Mark began a successful adventure fly fishing guide service in the Bristol Bay region. An avid fisherman, John got in touch with Mark and scheduled a trip. On that first trip, John revealed that he had been diagnosed with M.S. Ten years prior, doctors told him he had seven years to live. That first trip marked the beginning of decade of trips, each more adventurous than the last. Today, we are headed up stream to the confluence of several lives. Friendships are a bit like rivers -- when they converge, they swell into something greater.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "What We Had"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    There's more to this touching story than what you just heard. Hit the jump for some background on the folks who were featured in today's podcast and a link to some photos from the trip they described.

    Continue reading "Dirtbag Diaries: What We Had" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Unseen But Felt

    Seen but unseen Host Fitz Cahall throws caution to the wind in today's beautifully narrated episode of The Dirtbag Diaries.

    This last fall, Becca and I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. We began on foot in Sequoia National Park and hiked north through Yosemite. Along the way, we would climb as many routes as our rations, our bodies and the weather would allow. It was a slightly inefficient approach to a climbing trip that begged an explanation. To those who asked, I offered a slew of reasons. My heroes, John Muir and David Brower, had taken the same route. I wanted to prove we are capable of world-class adventure in our backyard ranges. Those closest to me knew better. I was trying to save myself. At its core, The Diaries has always been about the joy of wild places and our community's profound optimism, but at times contributors have stepped forward to provide stories about personal struggle, sorrow and depression. The Diaries has embraced both the light and the dark, because ultimately The Diaries are a reflection of me. Today, I present my own story. It may be hard to believe, but it happened.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Unseen But Felt"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com to hear the music from "Unseen But Felt" or download past episodes. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes and RSS, or connect with like-minded listeners on Facebook and Twitter.

    Dirtbag Diaries: Tales of Terror

    Tales of terror_logoIn lieu of candy, we're happy to share an equally sweet treat for your Halloween weekend. Fitz Cahall is back with his annual Halloween episode of The Dirtbag Diaries.

    It's that time of year. Leaves line the sidewalks. Darkness tugs at the soul. A cold wind blows. Today, we present Tales of Terror, two stories from the most terrifying moments of our contributor's lives. This year's contest winners reminded me why I love working on the Diaries. Sometimes the stories are serious. Sometimes they're funny. They come from all over the world. Our first story was recorded in the field somewhere in Afghanistan. The second comes from my old stomping ground -- Tahoe. Despite the differences, both stories are the result of passion, imagination and creativity. Today's contributors reached these terrifying moments because they have chosen to live both the width and length of their lives.  Thanks to everyone who participated. We had great submissions this year. Becca and I really appreciate it. Happy Halloween!

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Tales of Terror"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com to hear or download the music from today's podcast.

    Double-shot: We missed posting the last Dirtbag Diaries Short. Here's a quick recap and a link to the podcast: "Can your packing style influence how you experience a new place? After traveling by bike for four months through Africa, Dean understands that what we bring dictates what we take home from our distant travels." Listen to "Packing"

     

    Dirtbag Diaries: Embrace This

    Embrace_this_logo

    Crank through your week with a new podcast from the Dirtbag Diaries. Show host Fitz Cahall sets the stage:

    I love bikes. I like riding them through the woods. I like working on them. I even like riding bikes on roads, but I've never been a road biker. To me road biking has always seemed a bit like raw oysters.  I take one look at it and I think, "I don't want to try it." Despite their slimy demeanor, I really like oysters. Once I got over their looks, they taste pretty damn good. Maybe road biking would be like that for me. This summer I decided to not only try road biking, I decided to embrace it in all its spandex glory. My climbing could suffer. The mountain bike could collect cobwebs in the garage. Along the way, I discovered the joy of riding through my city.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Embrace This"
    (mp3 - right-click to download - contains some expletives)

    Visit dirtbagdiaries.com to hear or download the music from today's podcast. Fitz and crew are also holding another Night of the Living Dirtbag Contest. Submit a scary, outdoor-themed story to the Dirtbag Diaries for a chance to win a prize. Submissions are due by October 10th; contest details are on their site.

    [With thanks to Allie. Graphic by Walker Cahall.]

    Tracing the Edge Episode 6 with Colin Haley, plus New Dirtbag Diaries Short

    Colin Haley used the Cascades as a springboard onto the world's hardest-to-reach summits. The range's fickle weather, arduous approaches and complex glaciers were perfect tests. Summit by summit Haley connected the dots until multi-day outings like Mount Shuksan and Mount Slesse became day trips.

    The next episode, with Krissy Moehl, airs September 8. To catch up on the series, visit patagonia.com/tracingtheedge.

    Tracing the Edge is a project by videographer Bryan Smith and writer Fitz Cahall, host of The Dirtbag Diaries. Hit the jump to hear the newest Dirtbag Diaries Short. Patagoniac parents will definitely appreciate it.

    Continue reading "Tracing the Edge Episode 6 with Colin Haley, plus New Dirtbag Diaries Short" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: Go West

    Cowboy_frame_logo You see, in this world there are two kinds of people, my friend. Those who've never heard of the Dirtbag Diaries, and those who listen. You listen. Here's Fitz Cahall to tell you about the good, the bad and the ugly in today's podcast:

    "There aren't so many real cowboys left in America, just a lot of folks who dress like them," writes Brendan Leonard. Maybe the cowboy is gone, but the tradition of going West to reinvent oneself has remained a part of our culture. Where does that desire come from? Is it a part of the American Psyche? In Brendan's case, it came from his father's passion for the West. In small-town Iowa, the only way Brendan and his dad, Joe, could foster the dream of red rock and sage was by watching westerns. Lots of westerns. Today, Brendan presents a story about mountain people and the dreams parents instill in their children. Go West.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "Go West"
    (mp3 - right-click to download - contains some expletives)

    For more on this podcast, visit the Dirtbag Diaries. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes and RSS, or connect with like-minded listeners on Facebook and Twitter

    Fitz and his partner Brian are also helping us with a new video series, Tracing the Edge, which profiles three Patagonia ambassadors: Gerry Lopez, Krissy Moehl and Colin Haley. To see the trailer and the first three episodes, step into the Tin Shed.

    Dirtbag Diaries: Dirtbag Resume

    CapileneI'd like to take this opportunity to remind you of our Patagonia Jobs page. There are some very good opportunities up there right now. Vice President of Global Sales? You know you want it. If so, consider today's Dirtbag Diaries, and the accompanying photo, tips for applying. Here's, Fitz Cahall, host of the show, with some background on today's podcast:

    The M.O. was familiar -- work hard at a series of bizarre jobs, make money and then hit the road to travel. During his twenties, writer and Diaries contributor Ryan Nickum went around the world and drifted across the Pacific Northwest. When it came time to settle down after returning from a Peace Corps stint, the economy tanked. Once Ryan finally wanted a steady job, it seemed impossible to get one.  He authored standard resume after standard resume. The results were disheartening. Ryan pieced together whatever work he could -- data entry, process server and ditch digging. He began to question whether his youthful wanderlust now impeded a more adult life. In a moment of frustration, Ryan decided to create his curriculum vitae on his own terms -- Nickum style.

    Audio_graphic_4  Listen to "The Shorts - Dirtbag Resume"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    In between full-length episodes of The Dirtbag Diaries, listeners like you have the chance to narrate your own story on the show -- these are the Shorts. To submit your story for consideration, visit The Dirtbag Diaries and look for the Story Suggestions? link in the sidebar. You'll also find downloads for the music from today's episode.

    [This "Please recycle me." Capilene Zip-T is one example of the many creative cover letters we've received. See that label? Old school. A clear sign of experience. We take our work very seriously but we also like creativity and a good laugh. How will you differentiate your resume from the 11,000 we receive each year? Photos: Free] 

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Accidental Journalist

    Accidental_journalist iPods rejoice! The newest episode of The Dirtbag Diaries has just gone live. Our friend and host, Fitz Cahall, is here once again to set the stage.

    As a child, Freddie Wilkinson was fascinated by K2 and the adventure narratives from 8,000 meter peaks. It led to an incredible career as an alpinist seeking out difficult routes on obscure peaks across the globe, but his interest in climbing the trophy peaks waned. In August 2008, 11 climbers lost their lives on K2. The ensuing media frenzy was just that -- a frenzy. Facts were hazy and right from the start people began making broad generalizations even though the details had yet to emerge. Something about it pissed Freddie off and stirred his curiosity. What really happened up there? Freddie started asking questions and in the process he found himself chasing an incredible story. You don't need a journalism degree or a press pass to be a reporter. All it takes is a little New England "Can Do Spirit" and curiosity that won't rest.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "The Accidental Journalist"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    Bonus episode: Faithful Dirtbag Diaries listeners have no-doubt heard the latest Short, but we erroneously neglected to post it here on The Cleanest Line. Hit the jump to listen to James Lucas talk about his dreams of rock climbing stardom -- recorded in a tent at Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley.

    Continue reading "Dirtbag Diaries: The Accidental Journalist" »

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Pugilist

    The_pugilist Patagonia ambassador Kelly Cordes steps into the ring this week for another round with Fitz Cahall and the Dirtbag Diaries:

    "Fantasies happen from a safe distance. It's one thing to say you want something, even convince yourself of it. It's another thing all together to stand under a 3,500-foot nightmare you've feared for 15 years and try to actually climb it," writes climber and writer Kelly Cordes. At a quick consideration boxing and alpinism have little in common. Ponder it for a second and you might see the similarities. After years in the ring and even longer in the vertical life, Kelly certainly does. Each challenges its practitioner to accept fear. A boxer's opponent can deal out pain and defeat, and when you put it in that light, a mountain isn't all that different. Today Kelly presents a story about the biggest fight of his life and embracing the mythic choss pile that has haunted him since his early days of climbing.

    Audio_graphic_20pxListen to "The Pugilist"
    (mp3 - right-click to download - contains some expletives)

    For more from Fitz, visit the Dirtbag Diaries or slide open the door to the recently updated Tin Shed. For more from Kelly, pull up your silky shorts as high as they'll go and jab your way over to his fantastic blog.

    Dirtbag Diaries: The Shorts - Scars

    Shorts_NB_man Happy Mother's Day to all the Patagoniac moms out there. Thank you for all you do. In lieu of organic roses delivered to each of your doorsteps, we present a new Shorts episode of the Dirtbag Diaries for you to enjoy in bed while your offspring prepare your favorite breakfast. Show host Fitz Cahall introduces the podcast, and his wife Becca.

    "There is a wonderment in scars, the remnant of a body able to heal itself," writes Becca Cahall. "I love that my skin has chosen to retain memories that I might otherwise have forgotten." We've all got them. War wounds. Battle scars. We get them from crashing bikes in the woods, surgeon's scalpels and cheese grating falls on granite. If you look back at each scar, each of them tells an incredible story, tales to share around campfires and over beers. The real incredible thing is that we choose to see what we want in our wounds and in others. We look past them to the emotion and memory behind them. They become the physical diary of our lives.

    Audio_graphic_4  Listen to "The Shorts - Scars"
    (mp3 - right-click to download)

    In between full-length episodes of The Dirtbag Diaries, listeners like you have the chance to narrate your own story on the show -- these are the Shorts. To submit your story for consideration, visit The Dirtbag Diaries and look for the Story Suggestions? link in the sidebar. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes and RSS, or connect with Fitz via Facebook and Twitter.

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