About Me

Tom Rampton, resident of the Upper Arkansas Valley, near Nathrop, Colorado.

Sel-portrait of myself

Born in 1944, grew up in Southern California, graduated from Chapman College (BS in chemistry, 1967), one year at the University of Wyoming, draftee in the US army 1968-70, came to Colorado in 1971 to teach, returned to school for a year, then taught at Buena Vista High School until 1991.

Author of several river guides. Those in print are Arkansas River Guide, 1996, and Desolation and Gray Canyons River Guide, 2001. There have been others, but they've sold out and have been replaced by these.

Vietnam in the Absence of War, 2001, is about three trips to Vietnam—the last two of which were voluntary, in 1998 and 1999. See the info elsewhere on this site. I've another trip planned in Vietnam for late winter/early spring of 2002.

I do photography for its own sake, and to support my writing. I'm best at photographing rocks from airplanes, and second best at photographing rocks from the ground. Sometimes, though not often, I photograph a person. Except in Vietnam, where photographing people is easy.

While teaching, I worked part time in season as an on-call river guide on the Arkansas River. I've done private raft trips on the Arkansas, the San Juan, Green (Lodore, Desolation, labyrinth and Stillwater), the Salmon (Middle Fork, Main, and Lower), Rogue, Rio Grande, and the Colorado (Cataract Canyon and the Grand Canyon).

Moving water and the effects thereof hold a fascination for me. Two of the most awesome river canyons I've seen are the Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon, and the Royal Gorge of the Arkansas River in Colorado.

I hold a commercial pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land and sea, instrument-airplane, rotorcraft-helicopter, and glider. I'm the former owner of a Piper Tripacer, and am slowly building a Kolb Firestar from a kit. I love sleeping beside my airplane, tied down at a remote airstrip!

Amateur radio licensee, NØUFQ. I'm a general class, having upgraded only after the Morse code requirement was eased. Earlier, I refused to waste more of my time learning Morse Code, though I'd upgraded to tech plus. I'd done some writing that promoted elimination of this stupid, anachronistic requirement for higher class ham licenses. The situation is better now, but the job still needs to be finished. (See Amateur Radio on this website.)

I spent a total of seven months driving a big truck. It was an interesting look at America from a different perspective.

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