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Old 07-20-2009   #151
rifle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6
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Such a loss! I read every post and that kid will be missed! We should all learn something from this.... the river gives people like Derk life and in the blink of an eye it can jerk it away. Near that line a lot of us live and not so far away some of us die.

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Old 07-20-2009   #152
I kayak DH.
Waterwindpowderrock's Avatar
Greater tri cities metro area, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 794

I took Derk down West fork Clear creek for his first time a couple years ago. He had read a post on here of a run on west fork that danger & I cleaned & ran, so he called me & asked if I'd take him down west fork, he forgot to mention that he meant the LOWER section(relatively clean IV+,V-) not the main section (mank V) so we ran west fork just the two of us, what a hoot!! We got pinned more times than I can count, scouted more than I had ever looked at before, and got off the river well after dark, good times!!

It's hard when A great person passes, there's a lot of people that could dissapear & not be missed, Derk wasn't one of them.

I just fixed his boat for him last week, at least I got to see him one more time.

I'll miss you bro! (oh, and you were right, someone thanked you just saturday night for the beer you left the other day!!)

Discover Denver, stay there!
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Old 07-20-2009   #153
3, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 89
I personally didn't know your son Derk but he worked for Carmen (my wife) in accounting (VRI) one summer. She has told me what a great kid he was to work with and that he was a "fine young man". When I spoke to her about this tragedy I read about on the Buzz a few days ago, we, at that time had no clue that it would hit so close to home, until some phone calls and emails today. You should be extremely proud of him as he has obviously made a positive impression on many lives in the kayak community and here in Summit County. I know he is paddling the rivers of heaven and probably teaching them the best lines to take..ha!
God bless you and your family during these tough times and please do not hesitate to call on us for anything.
Scott V.
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Old 07-20-2009   #154
Spits Hot Fire
N. Cascades, Washington
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 978
I thought I would share a few more pics from our trip. One can see how this was such a memorable trip...most of these pics were just from the first day.

In the last few pics you can see him chillin on the beach with his crew of stranger friends, his mismatched crocs(one from mexico, one original, both in signature Derk lime green) and he was no doubt gettin ready to slay the dutch oven that night. He brought Salmon for us one night, I couldnt tell you how stoked i was for that, I thanked him numerous times.

Reading through here, its touching to see that such a little guy can have such a huge impact.
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Your opinion doesn't matter when you're already biased.
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Old 07-20-2009   #155
Parker, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1
I met Derk as a freshman at CSM. He was not only a great teacher at pool sessions but a true mentor of the sport. He pushed me to become a better boater and shared his abundance of river knowledge with me everyday. His dedication to kayaking was amazing and his drive relentless. We shared many memories on and off the river that I will remember forever. My condolences go out to Derk’s family and Mary. RIP Derk – You will be missed!

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Old 07-20-2009   #156
JCKeck1's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,471
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Ha, Derk's enthusiasm almost convinced me to dive 12.5 hours to Fossil Creek one winter. I have to say that's the shittiest creek I've ever run and I'm so glad I didn't do it on Derk's advice. It would have only been worth it if I'd have gone with him and his unbelievable excitement.

The BS does need a proper gauge. It'd need to be done extremely discretely to not raise the ire of the forrest service.
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Old 07-20-2009   #157
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Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 48
I didn't know Derk, but after reading all 155 posts, I wish I did.
I am truly moved by all the love for this special soul...
Thanks everyone for sharing all your great memories you had with Derk.
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Old 07-20-2009   #158
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Edge o' the Dust Bowl, Oklahoma
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 195
Driving home from a funeral Sunday afternoon…for a guy that left Earth too soon…listening to Billy Joel – and yeah, up next is “Only the Good Die Young.” Get home and log on to the ‘Buzz for the first time in a few days and see this thread. Crap…can’t be true…brought home all the more having just been in CO and driven up Poudre Canyon Thursday night…and checked out the Golden PP Friday evening.

Like many here, never met Derk in person, but knew him through the ‘Buzz, and we had traded a few PMs. Surely we’ve lost a bright light,,,a young man who lived life so fully in his few short years…who gave more than he took.

To Derk’s parents, few here can relate to the pain and loss you’re experiencing. I hope is that a Higher Power will bring you and Mary comfort and peace. To all here, thanks for sharing your stories. Maybe we'll all be inspired to live life more fully and with some of Derk’s contagious enthusiasm.
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Old 07-21-2009   #159
ericnourse's Avatar
Greeley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 84
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 137
Originally Posted by Ken Vanatta View Post
My deepest sympathy to Derk’s family and friends. As a member of the FD of the big drops of the BS two decades ago, my heart is heavy with passion over how fragile life is, the great person that Derk obviously was, and for the most premier run in all of Colorado. Too many times I have felt the pain of loss of numerous other kayaking legends over the years. I did not know Derk, but his obvious passion for kayaking, adventure, and Yahuweh’s creation speaks clearly to being a top-notch guy. I envision him celebrating in heaven with our other fallen legends as they watch over each of us on the river. It would be appropriate to honor him with a plaque at the BS, either near the put-in or the rapid. Peace to all.
It's in the works and will be in place soon. E-
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Old 07-21-2009   #160
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22
I've only met Derk once, but I will never forget him. There family invited us over for dinner after running the Lower Snake. It was our first year kayaking. My girlfriend and I had little experience or knowledge about the sport and I still remember talking with Derk about the run. After reading the description of the Lower Snake on Eddyflower we were nervous to say the least. Being beginners, we kept asking stupid questions about the run. Derk answered every question with a smile on his face. Trees, strainers, Logs, what are we getting into? I will never forget, Derk laughed and said "I wrote that description"

You will be missed

Russell & Tamara

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