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Damon--who was Russell Kelly's best bud and boating partner on many expeditions and 1st descents, peru guru, and recently the boyfriend of Russell's ex Annie Q [who many of you may have met; an awesome person and boater]--was killed last night in utah while riding his motorcycle back to idaho from mexico where he had visited his mother, Annie, and Annie's mom. details are few as of now. this is beyond tragic. Love and support to Annie and his friends and family.
 

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Say it ain't so. I just can't believe it. Damon was one of those paddlers you never heard of who did the rivers the people you heard of never did. He did the Stikine twice, as well as many first descents of major rivers in Peru. A true soul boater and one of the best in the world. A truly tragic day. I just can't believe roads killed Damon and Russel. Two of the hardest-charging paddlers of all time. Annie is in our thoughts.
 

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:( RIP Damon. What the hell? I can't believe this happened? Russel and Big D. Two of the most hardcore North Fork rippers passing away off the river? Is there a newspaper article anyone can link to? Was this near Logan UT? Damon was one of the funnest dudes to boat with ever................THAT FUCKING SUCKS......................
 

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This has been a brutal year. For her to have lost two partners in such a short time is just unreal... Russel was a great guy. Not sure if I knew Damon, but the name is very familiar.

I feel so sorry for her and the family & friends. Loosing Adam this year completely tore me apart. I feel for the family and hope them well through this tragedy.

Craw
 

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This is a day of sadness that Is killing me. Damon is one of the most amazing people tha I have ever met. I did not really know him til Russell died. I am one of the shittiest paddlers on the planet but these guys never gave a shit. They both would chase my boat and laugh. Annie is the strongest most amazing girl I have ever met. Damon and Russell inspired me like no other. I wish I had more inspiring words.......Damon just like Russell did not give a shit about who knew what he was doing...he just did it. I hope everyone can make to Telluride Friday NIght for the Premeire of WHITEWATERGODS @ the Conference center @ 8:30. We are drinking mad pints of Russell Kelly Pale Ale at the brewery tonight sharing the stories. RKPA will be at the Premeire
Miss you Damon
Love
Fish
 

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This is a day of sadness that Is killing me. Damon is one of the most amazing people tha I have ever met. I did not really know him til Russell died. I am one of the shittiest paddlers on the planet but these guys never gave a shit. They both would chase my boat and laugh. Annie is the strongest most amazing girl I have ever met. Damon and Russell inspired me like no other. I wish I had more inspiring words.......Damon just like Russell did not give a shit about who knew what he was doing...he just did it. I hope everyone can make to Telluride Friday NIght for the Premeire of WHITEWATERGODS @ the Conference center @ 8:30. We are drinking mad pints of Russell Kelly Pale Ale at the brewery tonight sharing the stories. RKPA will be at the Premeire
Miss you Damon
Love
Fish
 

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D Miller RIP

Seeing the grin on his face the last time we spoke is what I will forever remember. Part mystery, part elation at the power of life. May we all remember that smile and aspire to have the passion and power he commanded.
 

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Man what an ugly year. Damon was the man and wouldn't hesitate to go paddling even if he had to put on by himself, just loved to paddle. I was just at the payette and a few of us were laughing about some of the things he did. Total monster and great guy. RIP brotha


Gary
 

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The passing of one of the most prolific and kind-hearted kayaker/human-being in the world is something that I cannot understand or let go. My mind flashes back to the many episodes in which Damon showed me what kayaking was all about. Leaving the world a better place behind you. From the Baker in Southern Chile, to the deep canyons of Peru, Damon was an inspiration to watch. In our last conversation he told me about his plan of leaving the NF “there an’t nobody here to boat with so I end up just going, I am thinking about leaving but every time I go I wonder why left? Fuck..he loved that river,, and it was comfort to just know he was out there run’in Jakes solo in the Idaho twilight.. that it was possible someone could be soo solid. Russell and Damon they were both not of this earth, (“god's own prototypes not meant for mass production”) I hope they are together.. Suerte Fuerte Annie and Derek you are not alone..
Mateo
 

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Kyle: "We don't need much, just a left or a right at the horizon line, we're totally solid"

Damon: "You better fuckin' be."

Deadpan silence at a sunset put-in for the Pandora's Box.

Rest well river demon. May his legend live on.

Evan
 

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So there I was...Leaking from the crease, scouting a huge hole that you must boof in the crux rapid, at Embudo 3.5'....

Trying to talk myself out of running this rapid I was walking back up to my boat, Damon the river demon comes through and boofs the fuck out of the hole that I was contemplating walking. "WOW" literaly came out of my mouth.. .

Now let's see how the rest of his crew fairs. . . There was no crew.

Damon was soloing with a smile, embudo @ 3.5.

If you could only use one word: LEGEND

Perfect all the time. Amazing presense.

And if it were just that one day with Damon, we were solid.

Rest in Peace

Peter
 

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If you'all will allow me one more Damon anecdote, I'd be much obliged. He was the man and it's been a couple of rough days. Maybe he was a river demon but his heart was more in line with the Dali Lama.

Like many boaters, Damon had a special relationship with the people of Nepal. Damon proceeded my traveling there, having spent I don't know how many seasons working with Gerry Moffatt at Equator Expeditions. Damon spent a lot of time with this particular family in Pokhara that he'd met during his travels. Each of my three seasons in Nepal, I would visit this same family and each time I would walk through their door the first thing they would ask me is "When is Damon coming," or "How's Damon." Big D would send this Nepalese family money and watches and different trinkets to show his appreciation for the Dahl Baht they cooked him, even years after he traveled there. He never lost touch with them and they loved him unconditionally for it. The family gave me a package of thank-you letters and pictures to deliver to him. I caught up with him in McCall, Idaho, right after he'd gotten off an epic Clarks Fork trip where a Colorado group had lost a paddler. He was pretty shaken from that episode but the care package from his adopted Nepalese family lifted his spirits. Maybe he was a wanderer, river trash, dirtbag, or what have you but he cared for people. To late evening runs on the NF Damon. Catch the eddy at Rock Drop for me........................
 

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yep, legend is the best way to describe Damon, he was the man.
tons of great stories witnessed and heard and certainly just a fraction of what damon did throughout his life. Damon was always a treat to be around or paddle with. positive and the most solid guy on the river i've known.
annie, me and marta's hearts are with you, stay strong.
buen viaje amigo!
nathan
 

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Words do not describe the tragedy that has happened. I was not part of the boating community that was so much part of Damon's life. I grew up with him here in Abq. The people that were never touched by Damon are the ones that I feel for. What an amazing spirit. I have known Damon for 20 years, and never have I seen him anything but positive. The world is a little darker today. To Anne, what to say. You knew him better than most, and he loved you dearly. To Derek and Kent, keep looking at the moon. To all the boaters, ride one for Damon. I have never set foot in a boat, but I feel like I have made many journeys with through Damon's eyes. No matter who you are, if you knew Damon, he made you laugh....hold onto that and keep moving forward.
TS
 

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Damon RIP

Both skiing and boating- though I didn't see him often, there was comfort in just knowing the D was out there somewhere doing something that brought that lazy, lopsided grin to his face. The world was simply a better place because he was in it. I had barely heard the bad news before I started to miss him. RIP
 

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I only boated with Damon twice in my life, but both times epitomized the essence of boating.

The first time I met Damon was when Tony from Four Corners called me about showing them the way down the second gorge of Lime Creek. The water was a bit low, but we charged it hard. When we all eddied out above the big 30-footer, I stopped for a few seconds to survey the scene. Damon looked at me, took two strong strokes, and boofed over the edge. He never hesitated. He never flinched. His karma was kickin' and his charc was true. I remember on the hike out towards Purgatory Flats, Damon commented that his blue Perception Supersonic had a crack under the seat. "Maybe it's time to get a new boat, but I love this one," he said. His love for kayaking was about being in the moment, being in the world, experiencing fluidity and feeling focused. It wasn't about the latest boat or the newest jacket. His ride and the way he rolled revealed this.

The second time I boated with Damon was on Baker's Box with Evan Ross, Warren Starrett, Luke Hanson, and Dunbar Hardy. We all hurried to meet at Damon's trailer near Trimble Hot Springs and then proceeded to wait an hour while he installed a new seat in his Supersonic. But it was well worth the wait, because the scenery was, as always, spectacular, the rapids were refreshing, and the company was inspirational. I felt privileged to be boating with legends.

As I write these words and feel the sorrow for a life taken so young, my 20-month old son Luke River looks up at me, his blue eyes filled with joy and wonder at the world around him. I can't help but think of Damon's Supersonic, sitting somewhere, with an empty seat.

Damon, may your heaven be filled with foamy waterfalls and endless class Vs. And may the waters of life forever lap at your feet.

Amen.

P.S. I'll give you a call sometime; I still have your number.
 

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Your Love for Life will be missed by all who knew you.
I saw you the day you left for Mexico on your bike. After you left i was so jealous of your adventures. I was part of some of them, I wish i could could have been a part of more of them. Ride on Brother.
 

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Damon Miller

Thank you guys for posting all of your love and sentiments for Damon. All of these comments really show who Damon is and how many people he touched and inspired. By reading these comments it really cemented in me how incredible he was and how he will live on by the memories we have of him and the inspiration he has given us all through his life's example. I met Damon through his brother Derek. Derek is one of my best friends and has enriched my life in so many ways. I feel so fortunate to have known both of them. I always thought Damon had an immense spiritual strength and inner calmness. You could see the intensity and enthusiam in his eyes which lit up like a jackalatern when he shared life's experiences, mixed in with that calm jovial demenour expressed through that perpetual boyish grin. What Damon is in spirit his brother Derek is in heart. Derek has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I have met. I met Derek through climbing and any climber who knows him quickly realizes how gifted he is on the rock. I have never met another climber with such incredible strength and natural talent. Derek is like Damon. They love kayaking and climbing for the intensity, comradery, connection, and spiritual callmness it can bring when one reaches a certain epitomy in sport. One time talking to Damon I could feel that he was on a different plane. I immediately asked him what he had been up to. He cracked that Damonish smile and told me he had a pretty interesting the day. He had just got back from Yellowstone Nat. Park after paddling down Yellowstone Canyon- sadly illegal to boaters. He had kayaked this solo and had hitchhiked to the put-in where he had dropped off his kayak. He told me that he messed up his shoulder because he got caught in some V or VI hole. Somehow he got out of the mess but lost his paddle which was sucked into the hydrolic. He conitnued through a couple of class V rapids without a paddle and then caught an eddy. Miraculously his paddle floated down and he finished the tail end of the river in the dark. Telling this story I could see the intensity yet calmness of his experience through those eyes that became more expansive as he lived through the encounter. I only hope that everyone who has commented on Damon will be as fortunate as I am to know both of them. You will find that they truly are soul brothers and display the talent and humility that makes life inspirational. Derek I love you man, be strong and know how much your brother meant to this word and how much you mean to us....J-Rad
 

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Damon the river demon

The first time I met Damon was in the airport in Santago. I knew when I met him that he someone that could paddle. What I didn't knew was on that trip and over the next three years of regularly running in to him, he would show me a new level of skill and love of paddling. One that is rearly matched by anyone, even the best.

Your stories will live on my brother
RIP Damon (the river demon)

Fred
 

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Derek- I want you to know how much we are thinking about you and sending you all of our LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Words can not express our fucking saddness and sorrow. We are all here for you and thinking of you constantly. Call when you need ANYTHING. with so much love and a heavy heart- Tait and Sarah
 
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