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Old 07-19-2009   #71
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 03
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 51
I would just like to let Derk know that I had a great time paddling the Big South with him on Thursday and I am really glad I got the share that experience with him in such a great place. My heart goes out to him and to everyone.

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Old 07-19-2009   #72
doesn't need a fake name
leif's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 481
Some advice

It's a real sad day, but it's amazing to see how many people knew Derk and will miss him. I only met Derk once, when he was organizing the CSM Icebreaker, but he seemed like a great guy.

The reason that I'm posting is to offer some advice to the paddler or paddlers who were there. When I had a similar experience earlier this summer, I found that one of the things that helped the most was writing down a detailed account of the accident. At first, we thought that we might send it to a magazine or something, and we still might, but really, it just helped a lot to tell the story. There were two of us on that day, and a couple days afterwards, we sat down and talked about all the little details, recalled exactly what had happened, wrote it down, then thought about things that we could try to learn from the experience. I'm pretty much at peace with our actions that day, and from what little I've read, it sounds like there wasn't anything you could do differently. Write it down, have one or two people read it, and you'll feel better.

Sorry if someone else has already offered the advice that I just gave. I hate to admit it, but I only read about 2 or 3 pages of the comments. The whole paddling community will miss Derk.

-Leif Anderson (not Emberton)

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Old 07-19-2009   #73
Front Range, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 274
Oh God....

Haven't been on this site in ages, but when I walked in this afternoon, my husband Daniel took me aside to gently break the news.

Needless to say, logging in here on MountainBuzz a moment ago was like being punched in the stomach again: my inbox held several new messages from COUNT himself, invites to the river, catch-up notes, always with a smile and his phone number attached at the end....

I literally cannot read this thread right now-- just want to go call that dead-end line and ask Derk if he's okay, if this situation is real, how he's been lately....

My heart is heavy, and I grieve with all of you tonight.

Mr. & Mrs. Slottow and Mary,
Pleased let me know if there is anything I can do, anyplace I'm needed, any help I can provide in the coming days and weeks. I just left my direct cell line on Derk's Facebook page, if you all are checking there; also, {CBGlauserATgmailDOTcom}.

I love you, old friend, and am completely at a loss....

with much sadness,
- Cortney Glauser
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Old 07-19-2009   #74
ZLSeth's Avatar
Dillon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 132
RIP Derk

I am in shock. I was actually with Luke and Annie on Saturday during the time when, unbeknownst to us, the rescue operation was taking place. While the reason for being with them was business, I could not help but talk about the river. I asked about Derk and school and kayaking. The part that is really freaking me out is that I asked them to say "hi" to Derk for me.

I've paddled with Derk and Luke a few times... it has probably been a couple of years since we kayaked together. No doubt Derk's passion for kayaking was unsurpassed.

One of the coolest things about Derk as a boater is that while he obviously loved running creeks and Class V drops, he was just as happy on a class II-III run.

Whenever Derk was on the river, he was smiling. He died doing what he loved to do the most.

To Luke, Annie, Mary and the rest of Derk's family and friend I offer my deepest condolences.
"Believe me, my young friend, (said the water rat somlemnly), there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing...." -The Wind in the Willows
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Old 07-19-2009   #75
T-ROY's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 208
I was shocked when I heard Derk had passed. Talk about a "RIVER RAT" that enjoyed life. I've never seen him get down and frown, he was always smiling and happy. Especially when it came to paddling and being on the river with friends. Derk meant a lot to all of us who knew him or of him and he will be missed. In addition, Derk has been coming into Golden River Sports since we opened. I'm going to miss having him come to our gear swaps asking him how much he wants for the CSM Kayak Club boat with a pop can with duct tape covering a giant hole in the boat. Derk put a lot of effort and time into his school work, the kayak club, and getting out and having fun in between. WE MISS YOU DERK! One thing is for sure, memories and stories never die. Derk will live on threw all the good memories we had with him, and all those stories that were told while making those memories. My condolences to his family and friends, we did lose a good man indeed.
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Old 07-19-2009   #76
Force's Avatar
Bham, Washington
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 463
My sincerest condolences to Dirk's family and those involved. We lost a good one.

To those involved with the rescue, sounds like you did everything you could and probably more. As someone who's been there I would strongly encourage you to talk to someone, do what Leif said and don't be afraid to lean on friends and famility if you need help.
The high side of good - Daniel D
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Old 07-19-2009   #77
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910
while he obviously loved running creeks and Class V drops, he was just as happy on a class II-III run.
No doubt - he even wanted me to give him a call the next time I ran Clear Creek through Wheat Ridge so he could paddle it. I think it was part of his master plan to paddle every inch of boatable whitewater in the state.
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   #78
4CRS, Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 295
My thoughts are with Derk's family and friends, I am so sorry for your loss. Be careful out there everybody. Tony Miely
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Old 07-19-2009   #79
cosurfgod's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 384
Pourin a 40oz for ya bro. Your are a great kayaker and a great person.
Creek Boaters Like Tight Boxes
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Old 07-19-2009   #80
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 03
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 51
What follows is a private question posted to me by Andy H. and my response to his question which he urged me to post. I answered his question to the best of my knowledge and if I didn't quite get all the facts straight please feel free to correct me.

Andy H. -"I'm a rafter and don't know Big South. Did Dirk swim that day and get chundered or is it just the kind of run that'll wear you out even if you're pretty fit? He'd said he got really worked Thursday and I was wondering since he was waiting to see how he felt Friday night on deciding whether to come down to the Gorge with me or to go back to Big South."

Natalie: "Derk did not swim on Thursday and in fact he paddled fairly well. Although the run is a very long day, Bouncing Betty (the rapid) is the second largest rapid on the run and is near the beginning, so Derk was probably not tired at that point. He did get 'worked' in the same place that that he passed away in on Saturday. And by worked, I mean that he flipped in the same place that he got pinned this time and he gashed up his chin pretty bad. Although I wasn't there when he ran the rapid, I believe that he floated through a second, narrow slot upside down but was fine. His partner started chasing him and got pinned in the second slot. My group caught up to him in time to unpin his partners boat from the second slot and everybody was fine. We paddled with Derk for the rest of the day and he did great. The spot that gave him so much trouble is a very tricky move at lower flows. You have to go through a top slot that is backed up by a bad pin rock by boofing and pointing your nose to the left. If you have any right angle, you run the risk of getting pinned there. Many people portage this rapid, however, it is commonly run (I have run it everytime I have gone). Although I wasn't there, my guess is that Derk really wanted a re-match with that rapid since he did not have a good line down it on Thursday. It was a joy paddling with him that day and I really wish I could paddle with him again."

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