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Old 07-19-2009   #61
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
This is sad and tragic news. Derk had a passion for kayaking and a passion for mountainbuzz as well. My heart felt condolences to Derk's family and friends, I am so sorry for your loss.

Just about everyone seems to have ran across the COUNT at one time or another, and I'm sure that there are 1000's of great stories out there. I've enjoyed reading the good stories and memories. The middle fork / main story is the perfect river story of good people, having a great time together, helping each other and and making things greater than the sum of the individual parts in the process.

Derk was one of the first boaters I paddled with when I first moved to colorado. We hooked up on the buzz and then ran foxton. We both had a great day on the river, and had big smiles and fun all the way down. He told me he had grown up skiing and boating since he was a kid. I thought that sounded like the best life you could have!

News of Derk's passing has hit me hard. River accidents are always sorrowful, but it hurts when its someone you know. Its given me pause and caused some deep soul searching.

To the brothers on the river that day, I can't imagine how hard this is for you to deal with as well. My heart goes out to you guys. I hope you can find peace. If there is anything I can do to help, anytime, let me know.

Rest in Peace Derk.

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Old 07-19-2009   #62
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 69
I too lived with Derk for 2 years at CSM. He got me in a kayak my first time freshman year at pool sessions. He took me on my first river trip, a run through the Royal Gorge. The same weekend included a run on Pine Creek and Numbers. Last year i took over the CSM Kayak club from him, but he was still on-board as a sort of "Grandfather" of the club. He took so many people boating for their first time, and was always full of boating knowledge. He will be missed immensely by the club and everyone involved.

My prayers go out to Derk's parents and Mary, and everyone who has been touched by such an enthusiastic boater.

From Cataract Canyon in spring of 2008 to low water Rigo runs in the fall, that kid pushed my kayaking to where it is today. I will never forget when we ran the Upper Blue at 33 degrees in March, so cold the water would freeze to your paddle before it got to your hands. Derk, you have touched so many lives, and will never be forgotten, Rest in Peace little man, and always Paddle Hard!

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Old 07-19-2009   #63
Ironside's Avatar
Naples, Florida
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1
RIP river rider.
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Old 07-19-2009   #64
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 263
wow, this is stunning. I did not have the good fortune to know Derk personally, but I do know and have paddled with many of you who did, so I want to offer my sincere condolences to all his many friends and his family on this terrible loss.

His posts, and his knowledge and enthusiasim were always inspiring to me as I would read his reports and responses here on the 'buzz.

And my thoughts and prayers also go out to the kayaker who was with him yesterday.

Rest in peace brother paddler

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Old 07-19-2009   #65
tgrummon's Avatar
Evergreen/Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4
It makes me sad to say I never got to paddle with Derk. I met him, as so many did, through the kayak club at mines. He taught me how to do a back deck roll. I was looking forward to getting to know him better, it still hasn't hit me that I won't be able to. This is no doubt going to make me see the river differently. Rest in peace Derk.

Be safe out there.
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Old 07-19-2009   #66
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The Road, Colorado
Paddling Since: '07
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 612
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That mexico trip two years ago was a blast, would not have been the same without him.

Luke, my deepest condolences.

Matt R.
Life: Live it!
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Old 07-19-2009   #67
lmaciag's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 670
Unbelievable. Derk was an amazing guy. His enthusiasm and passion are unparalled.

I first met 'The Count' at Golden several years ago. A year and a half ago my friends and I had the opportunity to join Derk; his dad, Luke; and Christine on what would become the 'Sugarcane Switchback'. After 36 hours of driving and customs, we arrived at Micos. It was getting dark and we were all exhaused from the drive, but Derk rallied us all to do the run in the waining daylight. He led us down the amazing waterfalls as day turned into night, the last few being run with too little light. It was the first of five days of paddling in Mexico and Derk was our ringleader. Driving through surgarcane fields (Derk's head out the window getting hit by the stalks to get video of the muddy/potholed shuttle), exploring blue/green rivers, amazing waterfalls, a Class V shuttle, a Mexican Thanksgiving dinner and so much more.

Derk - Thank you so much for the opportunity to share this with you. You will be missed terribly.

His family and friends - You are in my thoughts during this difficult time.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
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Old 07-19-2009   #68
Edwards, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
My heart broke when I heard the news last night. The entire Slottow family are an amazing group of people.
Back in May I had a bad swim through Baby Dowd on Gore Creek. A few weeks later Luke called and said that he and Derk wanted to come over to Eagle County and run Baby Dowd down to the Eagle to Avon. This turned out to be my first run through Baby Dowd since my swim and I was a little sketched. Having Derk with me on the river that day gave me a huge confidence boost and the run turned out to be one of my best runs ever. During the run I turned to Luke and told him I hoped that Derk wasn’t getting bored…Luke just laughed and said “as long as Derk is on the river he is happy…it doesn’t matter what river”…I looked at Derk and saw a huge smile on his face.
My condolences to the Slottow Family and all involved.
Luke if you need anything please call, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
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Old 07-19-2009   #69
Denver/ Golden/ HR, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 6
RIP man. Such a good kid. He took us down black rock earlier this year. So sad.
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Old 07-19-2009   #70
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
I have taken a while to try to bring my emotions to words. Derk was a great kid. He brought energy and love to this site and this sport. I will miss him in many ways but I was lucky that I got the chance to know him. He was an amazing person and my life was better for having him in it. I will miss him and its still hard to imagine that he is gone. My sympathies to his family.


"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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