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Old 07-19-2009   #21
FrankC's Avatar
Golden, CO
Paddling Since: 1856
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 339
Wow..I remember reading many of the Counts posts on the buzz. My heart goes out to the friends an family. Hopefully they will make it through this.

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Old 07-19-2009   #22
GAtoCSU's Avatar
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 696
I'll second the effort of the individual on his trip. There was a valiant effort to free him from his pin, and the subsequent attempt to bring him back.

Man, I wish that we had arrived earlier and been able to help out. Stay strong, you did everything within your power.

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Old 07-19-2009   #23
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Lyons, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,565
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This is tragic.
I have paddled with Derk many times. One time sticks out in my memory. We had a great day on Gore. I wanted to stay the night and paddle the next day on Gore but it was getting cold and I had no camping gear. Derk offered his parents house to me in Dillon. He said that they were out of town and I could have the whole place to myself. (Derk had to head back to school). Needless to say I was stoked......... I got to the house and got comfortable. I mean really comfy. Pizza, the tube, lounging on the sofa, beer cans everywhere. Suddenly the door opened and I was thinking "Who could this be?? Count???..... I walked up stairs and totally freaked his parents out. They came home and I was trying to explain why I was at their house. The funniest part of the story was I was trying to communicate how I knew their son and this was no big deal but I didn't even know his name. I just kept calling him COUNT!!! Derk's parents are just like Derk. I see where he gets his kindness, happiness and enthusiasm. To "Counts" parents and brother. Count was a wonderful soul. You raised a wonderful person. Although he is gone he touched many people in a very positive way. He will be missed deeply and remembered always
Matt Booth aka erdvm1
Go Dawgs!!!
Happiness is a way of travel not a destination
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Old 07-19-2009   #24
Dillon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2
Derk's accident

We are Derks parents. For those who helped him thank you so much. For everyone who has posted kind words, it really means a lot to us. Derk was a wonderful person and we loved him very much. He had a passion for Kayaking. He simply loved it and was doing what he loved. He started kayaking when he was about 8. We offered him a trip as a graduation present from highschool. What do you think the count chose? Not europe, not spring break in Mexico, he chose Canada and we went for a week on the Ottowa and a week of rivers with the Madawaska Kanu Center. He chose Colorado School of Mines because it is a great school and there was a kayak park within walking distance. He joined the kayak club freshman year and was president sophomore and junior year. He loved turning people onto kayaking. He worked summers with an engineerning firm to support his kayak habit. It was not by chance the firm, among other things, designed kayak parks.He went to Micos Mexico to run waterfalls in warm water with his good friend Jordie. He had so much fun he convinced me to go with him and 6 other people the on the 33 hour road trip back to Micos the next Thanksgiving. His enthusiasm was contagious and he was right it was an amayzing trip. The next year after saving up enough money he went to Chile to run the Futaleufu. He could not find anyone to go with so found a company on the Fu and went by himself. He loved boating gore in the fall and had boated Big South before. He boated the middle fork of the salmon a couple years ago when it was 6.2 at the put in. He got a permit for the main fork of the salmon this summer but couldn't find colorado friends who were available the week of the permit. He hooked up with some boaters who he had never met who were coming off a trip on the middle fork. He said they got to be good people if they love the river. They were and he had a great trip and could not say enough about his new frinds. He always carried a throw rope, first aid kit and pin kit. He loved the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Led Zepplin and his wonderful girlfriend Mary. Sorry if I am rambling but we really miss him and want everyone to know how much he loved kayaking and the whole kayaking community.
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Old 07-19-2009   #25
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 144

god dammit that kid was passionate about kayaking and that makes him a brother in my book.

Well said,



man it makes me sad to say goodbye to someone who is obviously so passionate about about our sport.
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Old 07-19-2009   #26
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 290
Stunned. What a great guy. HUGE supporter of anything kayaking! He always had so much humor in the forum and a flurry of beta to provide people. He gave effortlessly. RIP COUNT.
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Old 07-19-2009   #27
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
This is terrible. He just texted me friday to go on the trip but I couldn't make it. I loved this guy! To Derk's parents - you raised an amazing person. Third boating friend fatality for me this season I am getting tired of it.
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Old 07-19-2009   #28
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6
This is such a tragedy. I came to Colorado School of Mines last fall from a kayaking family. I very rarely boated with anyone but my brothers. Within a week of knowing Derk he had me on an all-night rally from Golden to Sixthwater Creek in Utah. That and all my other experiences with him where all such great adventures. He was quick to be an incredible mentor to all young boaters in the kayak club such as myself.
Derk was only a semester from graduating and leading a fruitful life. To see a friend brought down at that age really makes me revise my limits, my motivations and relationship with the river.
You could rarely drive through I-70 with Derk and not make a stop at his parent's home and know their incredible hospitality. I pray for them. He was so passionate about the river and he gave so much back. He knew that the colorado boating community is family and we take care of one another. So I know that the boater that was with him did everything he could and I hope you won't let this event eat at you.
Because I'm that totally kick-ass.
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Old 07-19-2009   #29
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
My two favorite Derk moments:
My absolute favorite was on the Salt 2 years ago when the rest of us pulled over to scout Quartzite and I could feel the butterflies coming on strong, as he floated by, he turned and gave me the biggest grin and said, "you only get the chance to run it blind once." Then he took the hero line. I remember that smile every time I get nervous boating. His passion for boating was palpable and contagious.

The other moment is one of my top 5 favorite evenings in camp. On the Dolores last year, Derk made dinner and he was very excited when he surprised us with cherry cobbler for dessert. The we sat around telling terrible jokes and playing camp games for hours. The kid had the biggest heart.

I am still in shock. I was really looking forward to joining him for Thanksgiving this year. I wish peace for his family and for those who were with him yesterday. Although my heart is breaking for him, I know he was doing what he loved.
"There is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?" -Wind in the Willows
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Old 07-19-2009   #30
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
This is terribly sad news and my heart goes out to Derk's family and friends. I only met him a few times but it was obvious that he was passionate about rivers. The first time we crossed paths was at the Lyons Outdoor Games a few years ago. Derk wore his kayaking helmet the entire weekend. People kept asking "who's the guy in the helmet??" Finally Matt Booth clued everyone (who didn't already know him) that it was Count from the Buzz. People were starstruck. A Mtn. Buzz A-list celeb in our midst! He was a generous soul with who did what he loved on and off the water. RIP Derk. You will be missed by many, many people.

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