Damon's most excellent adventure - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-29-2006   #1
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 11
Damon's most excellent adventure

Born November 21, 1972 - this bundle of joy arrived in our arms with a smile on his face - a smile that never left. Derek, Kay and I found out that Damon had died on Saturday. August 19, 2006. He died on a dirt road heading back to Durango riding one of the XR600's that he and his brother were going to race in the Baja 1000 this November. Ironically, Damon was headed to Telluride to introduce the film "White Water Gods" -which was going to be a tribute to our good buddy - Russell Kelly. Never could I have imagined that this would be a tribute to both. On wednesday Derek and I headed for the Grand Canyon. At noon we thru Damon in a pack with a couple of beers, a payday and tangerine - 18 miles and 9 hours later we emerged from the Colorado totally spent. I'm sure Damon would have done it in 5 hours and called us pussies. On saturday Annie and Kay took him to the upper Animas.

We are so touched by everyones thoughts and kind words. I cannot thank all of you enough. Should any of you every be traveling thru, need a place to stay, a ride to the airport or "whatever" - I would be honored to hug you, cook you a meal and send you on your way. I've been doing that all my life and wouldn't have it any other way.

Follow your heart, it makes for a wonderful journey!!!!!!!

Damon and Derek's Padre - Kent (and of cousre Annie's too!)

PS - I think Derek and Annie just got on a 18-day Grand canyon trip - way cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 08-29-2006   #2
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 380

Could you please post any information on Damon's memorial service? There's a bunch of Idaho folks who are eagerly awating information because they want to pay respect...........Thanks so much.......
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Old 08-29-2006   #3
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 404
I heard they were having a North Fork Payette Service but don't know details.
The movie Whitewater Gods in Telluride was the ultimate memorial service. The majority of the film was Damon and RUssel running all the major rivers in Peru. Big River multi-day trips. 1st descents, 2nd descents and 3rd descents. The second descents had not been run for 25 years. If you have done any multi-day big water expeditions the movie will blow you away. They ran all these intense multi-day rivers 3-7 days each, back to back. It is a very high quality documentary with Damon and Russel providing the commentary throughout. After the movie a group went with Fish to his bar the Smuggler in Telluride and partied until 4:00AM just like Russel or Damon would have. You gotta see the movie if you knew these boys it was awesome. I don't know where to find it but we should find out. The guy who made it is named
Tatum Video.
PO Box 944 Telluride, CO 81435 USA
Phone: 970-728-4892 Fax: 970-728-1107 .
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Old 08-29-2006   #4
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 380
NF gig: Kings of the NF race this weekend--Sat, 5pm. Miller memorial float the next day SUN. 5pm middle down................
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Old 08-29-2006   #5
Mad Scientist/Creeker
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 805
Joe and anyone else -

Poudre Posse is leaving FC en route to the NFP Friday after work. If interested in car pooling get in touch. Returning late Monday in time for work on Tuesday (hopefully).
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Old 08-29-2006   #6
placerville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 781
Hi Kent--nice to meet you at smuggler's before the film. thanks for the info. keep us posted on any other memorial. again, our thoughts are with your family; Damo was one of a kind that's for sure. i had immense respect for him, and he inspired me to keep the shit-talking to a minimum. that north fork race will be lacking one of it's top seeds--steven
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Old 08-29-2006   #7
Telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 57
It was amazing to meet so many people touched by Damon this weekend at the premeire of White Water Gods especially Kay and Kent and to see where Damons never ending smile came from. It is one of the most amazing expedition paddling movies ever. Thanks to everyone who came to Smuggler's before and after the event. The Late night Russell Kelly Pale Ale Session was extremely debaucherous in the tradition of those 2 amazing kids we all miss so much. Look me up at the Brewery for a pint of RKPA any time any of you are passing through T-Ride
Miss you Damon
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Old 08-29-2006   #8
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2
I met Damon on my first Grand Canyon trip in '97. I had just moved back to Jackson after the big city and that trip was truly cleansing. My favorite Damon memory on that trip:

We were scouting Lava on river right, high up on the rocks. Looking down into the monster hole I thought, 'holy shit, if I blow it and take my raft in there it's all over.' I was nervous to say the least. Next thing we know, Damon appears below us, in the current, totally going for it while we were up there overanalyzing the whole thing. Damon took a big piece of the right side of the hole, came out laughing and then farther downstream shot his boat way up the cheese-grater rock on the right - spun his f***ing kayak paddle over his head - screamed like a banshee, dropped back in the current and kept on going. Unbelievable. That was all the scouting I needed and it was also Damon's lesson to me: "don't sweat it, just go for it and celebrate." Right on brother.

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Old 08-30-2006   #9
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 11
I hope the get together works out - I know Damon would love that. He really did love Idaho and the Payette. In fact I think that is where he got the inspiration to start traveling. I remember sitting in the old Banks Cafe with Damon talking about all the places he wanted to go - and go he did. My thoughts will be with you all this weekend. There was a wonderful rightup on Damon in one of the Telluride newspapers - I will overnight it to Conrad. Maybe he can share it with all of you this weekend. As for me - I'm taking Damons helmet and clothes up to this point overlooking the Rio Grande - a place with expansive views and where the sun will always shine on his smiling face. I'm going to have a beer with him and I'm going to be grateful for all the time I had with him. My best to you all. Muchos abrazos y besos - Damon and Derek's padre.
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Old 08-30-2006   #10
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1
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Damon, a man who will truely be missed. He touched every life he entered. Always a pleasure to be around. I remember particularly one peice of advice he gave, "you have to believe" Those words stick in my mind in Damon's voice. After a long portage, 4 days in, heavy boats, late in the day, lots of rain, high water, we got to where we could put back in. A must make move, across the river, around the HUGE hole. Sitting in the eddy, contimplating the move, Damon says those words "you have to believe". Those words have gotton me out of a pinch more than once. Thanks Damon. My love goes out to all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Lisa
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