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Old 07-19-2009   #51
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 9
Derk Derk Derk, I love you man. I'm crying right now and having trouble typing but I feel obligated to let people know what a great man Derk Slottow was. Derk was the President of the School of Mines kayak club so i met him freshman year and found out he was the only other paddler in the school good enough to run class V. He took me down Gore immediatly and we have had many many great times together since, running creeks and camping all around the state. He was a brilliant student too, about to graduate from Mines and not even 21. I have been influenced by Derk's enthusiasm as I am sure many have, but lets learn from Derk that you can never be too prepared and that a kayaking life was a good safe everyone.

Missin you already Derk

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Old 07-19-2009   #52
adrock's Avatar
Fort Collins/GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 208
I never met Derk in person but it is very apparent that he lived such a full and amazing life. What a gift for those of you that met him and spent time with him. His spirit will live on in the rivers that surround us and in the impressions he made on all of you.

Condolences, Adrian

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Old 07-19-2009   #53
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
I just cant believe it. This is horrible. Last time I saw him, he had just rescued my shit. I honestly dont know what to say its going to take me a while just to come to grips with this. I just dont want to believe its true. It simply cant be true....
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 07-19-2009   #54
CUkayakGirl's Avatar
303, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 301
This news was such a shock to me this morning when I spoke to Derk’s Parents.

Derk was my best friends; we have been on so many crazy, fun adventures together over the past 4 years. Not only was he a good friend, my roommate, and paddling buddy, he was one of the only people I could share all my fears and sorrows and dreams with. I could talk to him for hours listening to his excitement for life and paddling as well as all the words of encouragement and of advice he was always filled with.

I can not stop reading the text messages he sent me Friday right after he headed for the Poudre and I headed for the Ark. He tried to talk Alex and myself into going to the Poudre to paddle with him on Sunday after he did the Big South on Saturday.

Derk: Don’t Stop Believing is on. It must be sign that you’re supposed to be paddling with me!
Me: I just heard that song too! EEEEEk!
Derk: Totally

It makes me so happy to read the text, it sums up Derk’s character completely. He was always eager to be on the river paddling with his closest friends and no matter what was going on, he always had time to call or text just to let you know he was thinking about you and to remind you of all the fun times of the past.

Some of my favorite times with Derk:
Driving 4.5 days to Mexico to paddle for 4.5 days. It didn’t matter to him how long it took to get there, just as long as we got to paddle

Hurting my knee snowboarding and Derk going out and filling a bag of ice for my knee while we ate lunch with the Group. He was always such a caring person and doing anything and everything to insure everyone was ok.
Brining me kayak porn and brownies and watching movies with me for days after my knee surgery.

Getting lost for a few hours in New Mexico, driving into a scary drug deal, living through the entire adventure and him saying “naw, nothing bad was going to happen, except maybe us driving off that cliff we didn’t see, on accident”

Being the only two left at the house every weekend because we were kicked out of the bar again for being too young. Singing Fat Bottom Girl and Bicycle…Bicycle…Bicycle over and over again with the stereo until everyone else got back from the bar.

Eating crab legs with the Slottow Family and making Derk crack my crab legs because I could not stand the sound of crunch.

I had the pleasure of seeing Derk grow up. He was such a great kid thanks to his amazing parents. He loved his family so much and was a great big brother. He also loved his Girlfriend Mary and I was always so excited to see that he found a beautiful, smart girl to share his life and give all his love to.

I will miss our outdoor adventures: kayaking, climbing, camping, skiing, and anything else we thought was a good idea at the time.

Derk will always be in my heart.
RIP Derk, I love you and miss you so much!

-Christine Clark
"I would lick it up if it weren't all glassified and on concrete"
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Old 07-19-2009   #55
Spits Hot Fire
N. Cascades, Washington
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 978
A few weeks ago we were coming down the Middle Fork of the Salmon. We were about to turn the corner and continue on down the Main Salmon picking up Derk at Corn Creek and riding his permit out. He was a lone kayaker that couldnt get anyone else to commit to the trip and thats when we hooked up through the buzz. He needed raft support and we needed an impossible to get MF-Main trip. Thanks to him that came true. I will always remember him for that and never forget that trip.

We were a small crew. Several jumped out at the MF Salmon take out and a few of us continued down to meet derk. Yakrafter,Brofer, Raft3plus-also known as Dirk Senior were the rafters, Derk junior or "junior" as i started to affectionately call him would be the only kayakers.

The day before we met up with Count, the others guys were asking me what he's like..since i was the only person who had met him. The One thing I recall mentioning to them was his guidebook. I'm sure a lot of you saw his guidebook. I seriously have not seen a more worn out, used, abused and tattered copy of our beloved bible than Derks book. It seemed almost every page was marked, color coded and tagged with endless notes from every drainage. His copy of the new testament WAS a testament not only to Derks character and personality but his love of the rivers, creeks, canyons and mountains.

Yesterday when we reached the take out, his car was there as a painful reminder. Myself and ERic went over to lean on it and pay some respects. I told eric, look-there's his guidebook. I could see just by the first glance at Eric that the appearance of Derk's guidebook spoke volumes. I'm glad to hear from Mary that she and the family will continue to cherish that book.
Your opinion doesn't matter when you're already biased.
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Old 07-19-2009   #56
Lyons, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 6
This has taken a while to sink in.

I loved Derk's enthusiasm for paddling, the adrenaline rush I'd get riding shotgun in his Subaru, the way he would run in a shortie when i was shivering in a skullcap and mittens, how he would throw in a solo rigo run before running LCC with me, that he seemed fearless in the water, his contageous excitement...

I'll miss him.

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Old 07-19-2009   #57
Andy R's Avatar
Somewhere on, Earth
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 262
It's still so hard to believe...

Let's celebrate his life through these stories and please post photos if you have them. The more stories you can share the more wonderful memories will be here for all us to remember such a nice young man. Heaven got quite a bit better yesterday!
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Old 07-19-2009   #58
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17
I lived with Derk for 2 year during college. I just wanted to say a few things about him. I remeber when I first met him, and guess where on clear creek. He immediatley be-friend me. We soon became great friends and room mates. He was a great person with a hudge heart, that would do anything for him. Make sure you guys do some back deck rolls for him today . I am lookinf at reseving a pavillian for a memorial service for him soon. I will let you all know.
joe hemelt
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Old 07-19-2009   #59
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910
Goodbye Derk

My heart is so heavy to hear this news. I remember seeing Derk’s posts on the Buzz for years and forming an idea in my mind of what he must be like. Then when I finally met him I remember being so surprised that this tiny pimply-faced kid who looked like he was about 14 years old was the same person putting up all those posts as “COUNT.” I remember wondering “How on earth could someone so young have their shit together as well as he does?”

Later we talked about his coursework at Mines, and about his taking a grad level class, “Computational Fluid Dynamics.” From what I understand its almost unheard of for an undergrad to take CFD and he’d learn to do computer hydraulic modeling of turbulent flow – eddies, waves, and the like. Its really cutting edge stuff that’s only been developed in the last few years. He’d worked at McLaughlin Engineering with some of the best playpark designers in the country and had gone around taking notes on every play park in the state so you can guess what he had in mind for modeling fluid dynamics like that. I was really stoked to hear he got into the course last semester and was looking forward to hearing about how it went when he dropped off some gear borrowed for the Main, but I guess we’ll never have that conversation. Derk was gearing up to pursue his passion professionally and one couldn't help but be psyched to see him living his dream.

I talked to him Thursday about going for a float on the Royal Gorge yesterday. He'd been really worked over paddling earlier in the week (Wed. or Thurs?) and said if he was still feeling beat up by Friday night, he’d come on down to the Gorge, if he felt better, then he’d go run the Big South. One can’t help but wonder now if lingering fatigue from earlier in the week contributed to what happened. Talking to him Friday night, I was bummed to hear he’d be heading up to the Big South and told him the standard “be safe up there” - not knowing how significant that statement was. I wish he’d been feeling a little more beat up now.

It breaks my heart to realize that he’s gone - it's sinking in in waves. To think of what a great guy Derk was and how much potential he had. He certainly did make our lives better and will be missed. What a hole he’s leaving in the community.
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 07-19-2009   #60
anysomewherevill, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3
Lots-0-Love and happiness for your family, friends and all the people you inspired!!
Thanks Dirk-a-licious you are missed brotha!
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