Family of kayaker who died thanks community of Vail for warm hearts
Vail, CO, Colorado
We are the parents of Drew Hunter. He was your neighbor, your friend, and our wonderful son who recently passed away in a tragic kayak accident on Gore Creek.
This past week our grief has been soothed not only by the majestic natural beauty that surrounds everyone in this valley but also by the generosity and loving spirit that we found everywhere in the community of Vail.
We now know why Drew and his fiance, Jenna Seoane, made a home here. There is the beauty and adventure, of course, but we also met the people, their friends that touched his life and give a heart and soul to this exquisite place.
With gratitude we would like to thank all of the people that touched our son’s life and made him happy here. In particular we would like to thank those that helped us and the Seoane family cope through these past few difficult days and will give sustenance for us in the difficult days ahead.
Thanks to the Vail Mountain Rescue Crew and all volunteers who were involved in the search and who we know did everything possible to find Drew.
Thanks to Eric Bissel and Leif Anderson, who shared with Drew his last happy moments doing what he loved to do and guiding him with all skill through his last run. We know you did everything you could do to save Drew and we bless your path forward in your lives to continue seeking the thrill of the waters with renewed respect for those waters.
Thanks to Frank Johnson and the wonderful staff at the Vail Mountain Lodge for their generosity, calm and comfort. Jimmy, those cookies, the flowers and personal note were perfect.
We would like to thank Clark Mercer, Steve Kaufman, Dave Root and the crew at the Tap Room for their awesome care and wonderful memories of Drew and Jenna’s many good times there. We were given a sense of how fun those times must have been while Drew was alive and will continue to be as his and Jenna’s friends continue to meet there to raise a glass in his memory.
Thanks to Ken Hovie who perfectly captured the spirit we would like to leave with you all as we go home. At the Teva games before the kayak race, and after his soothing words in honor of Drew, Ken asked for our blessing to start the race and have fun — to continue doing what Drew loved to do. Being able to give that blessing with all our love and appreciation was the best gift we could have been given during our stay. We could not believe that it snowed, but we gave ourselves comfort thinking that it was Drew’s way to find the powder any way he could and leave a parting gift to all his fellow adventurers and friends.
With that we ask you to continue to seek the fun and adventure that living in such a magnificent place gives you. Continue to do so with respect, with a sense that it is indeed a privilege and continue to do it together and with care for those loved ones Drew left behind.
Gail and Jeremy Hunter
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Vail’s updated plans regarding the state guidelines and isolation housing requirements is one of several pieces of information guests are waiting on heading into the 2020-21 season.