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Old 07-20-2009   #111
Aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 13

Such a loss... Derk was a wonderful person. My condolences to his family and strength to his boating family. I've boated with Derk several times since meeting him on the river last year. I paddled with him last weekend on the North Fork of the Crystal and what a spectacular day it was! Claps of thunder welcomed us to the end of Lead King Basin and concealed our excitement to be running such a fine stretch of water. Derk was eying the lower stretch and even envisioned his line through the sketchy undercut. Due to wood just below the undercut, we stuck to the upper, despite Derk having his pin kit and smile ready for some wood extraction to free up the line.

Above is a pic from last weekend on the NF.

Derk - Peace be with you my friend!


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Old 07-20-2009   #112
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2
I am so saddened by the news of the loss of our friend Derk. I had the opportunity to paddle with Derk on the Thanksgiving Mexico trip 2 years back. We all had such a great time...however I think Derk was having twice as much fun as the rest of us. Luke - my condolences to you and your family.

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Old 07-20-2009   #113
DurangoSteve's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,907
Once again and it seems way too frequently this summer we are reminded that our river life, which brings us so many exhilarating moments of joy, is too often ephemeral.

We are drawn to those who are passionate, giving, honorable and genuine. Clearly Derk embodied those traits. Cherish your experiences together. Through those memories our friends and loved ones live on.

My deepest condolences to the many who knew and loved him.
You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you. - Heraclitus of Ephesus
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Old 07-20-2009   #114
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 807
I was shocked and terribly saddened to hear this news yesterday. I had the pleasure of kayaking with Derk dozens of times over the last 5 years, and I have rarely met such an enthusiatic or motivated person. Whether it was raining or snowing, or he just showed up in the middle of the night after a 10 hour drive, Derk was never less than 100% totally psyched. He was a truly generous person, putting as much effort into teaching and including others as he did into his own adventures. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.

To the rescuers: Don't beat yourselves up over this. I know from personal experience that you will run through the scenario again and again, and second guess every decision you made. You guys did your best in an impossible situation, and gave Derk the best chance that you could.

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Old 07-20-2009   #115
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 600
I never new Derk(COUNT) , but what a true Gentleman of the river. RIP
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Old 07-20-2009   #116
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,449
I am honored to have boated with Dirk if only once and to have befriended him, I cannot imagine the hole in your lives Luke and family. Thanks Count for inviting us on Westwater and saving my husbands life, wish we could have returned the favor...

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Old 07-20-2009   #117
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 176
Picture of Bouncing Betty

I did not personally know Derk, though I am sure I must have paddled with him at some point over the years. I can only express my deepest sorrow for his family and friends, and hope that eventually something positive can come from this tragic experience. I have also attached a photo of Bouncing Betty which shows the pin rock on the left side of the rapid looking upstream, for those who have not had the opportunity to kayak on this run. The water level shown is higher than when the accident occurred but it still illustrates the character of this rapid. To all of Derk's loved ones, please accept my most sincere condolences for your loss.

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Old 07-20-2009   #118
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 11
My thoughts go out to Dirk's friends and family. Whenever the community loses someone we are all touched by it. The rivers give such joy but can also bring such pain. Still, I don't know any of us who have loved the feelings the river brings would not want to do it again and again. Still the loss hurts but let us celebrate a life lived to the fullest.
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Old 07-20-2009   #119
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 272
very sad news. RIP Count!
"I would drag my balls across broken glass just to hear her fart into a walkie talkie" -Jay Drury
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Old 07-20-2009   #120
Lyons, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 6
winning ride from the avon video contest...
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