Rememebering a man that changed my life

Me: So what did you think ?
Todd: I think I was boating for my life..
Me: I think we were!
Todd: That was one of the scariest canyons I have been thru in my entire life
Me: Yea I agree it got a little intense in there when the water started rising and logs were coming down.
Todd: Ha what about the rappeling ourselves into a canyon with no escape and mandatory blind drops and oh yeah the drops I wanted to walk but couldn’t because we were trapped in a slot canyon.
Me: Oh yeah I guess I forgot to tell you about those..
Todd: That was the most incredible adventure I have ever been on and my life is better for it.

Walking down the old dirt road Todd and I were recapturing the moments we had just shared and possibly one of the most memorable experiences in our lives. As we shouldered our kayaks dust rolled past our face as an old ranch truck passed by, the man driving was an obvious ranch man with a very raw look on his face as he glared at us like we were carrying skis in the desert. Im sure in all his life he had never seen someone with a kayak in this valley and we felt and looked like the walking dead with a smile on our face as we had just cheated our demise. Those steps to the car and our conversation are burned into my mind and will always be remembered.
Todd and I had just gotten off the 2nd descent of Deer Creek here in Cody with flows 4-5 times what I had on the First Descent. We had gotten a quarter of the way thru the canyon when the day temps rose quickly thru the morning. With warm temps brought stained brown water and wood rocketing its way thru the canyon. Once you rappel into this canyon there is no way out until the end, the canyon snakes its way thru 400 to 600 foot walls and never gets wider then 25 feet. Todd and I at times were boating for our lives, there is no question we were pushing the line but we also knew we had no choice. We managed to keep our heads together and stabilize the situation mentally. We knew there was only one option and if we could have found a way out we would have ran like a dog with our tails between our legs and never looked back. Telling the story could never give our adventure justice our give realization as to what took place and we understood that as we walked down that road.

Sunrise driving over the Big Horns the morning of Todd’s Funeral

Todd changed my life, it wasn’t being the greatest kayaker or climber that took him all over the U.S. and other countries it was the adventure and the journey getting there that kept him always smiling.

Mande (Todd’s Girlfriend) made her first trip back to the Big Horns this summer to help run shuttle just like old times

Todd and Dan Crain were the kayaking pioneers of the Big Horns and discovered world class runs in this small slice of the Rocky Mountains. It’s a class 5 paradise Todd would say like a proud father of the Big Horns. Im very thankful to have shared time with Todd and learn the secrets to the Big Horn Range without his knowledge my own explorations and experiences would have never happened.

Me looking into the Subway where todd was last seen

Today October 19 is the day Todd died 4 years ago and I still remember the day very clearly. Todd and I had talked for well over an hour the day prior and for Todd that is not normal. We talked about life and my family, we all enjoyed his company. When he would show up at the door he was a part of the family and I was given a pass to play when he arrived. The Summer before Todd died he and I spent a lot of time together exploring and cleaning new runs in the area. I think that summer we discovered 4 first descents and ticked off some high water runs thru the season.

Last rapid on the Great Falls of the Potomac

Last year I went out to the Great falls of the Potomac where Todd had passed away to put all the pieces together of what happened. Putting onto this run was hard for me but I had to for myself and for Todd. In order to get to the place where he died I had to do the run. I felt like he was with me the whole time and standing there looking into whats called the Subway where he was washed into, it all made sense what had happened and helped me with some closure. For more info on what happened click here

The crew gathered from across the globe to celebrate Todds life in 2004

Todd was passionate about everything he did and will always be missed but never forgotten…. LTP baby!


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