Norm Miller & Kris Walker find the bag!!!

“It’s buried under a big W, I tell you. A big W.”-It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

I never laughed harder in my life than I did as an 8 year old watching the final scene of this classic flick.

 

Miracles never cease.  On June 6th I capsized and lost many of my belongings in Montana just before the Three Forks confluence.  In particular, my bag with most of my electronics floated down the river.  Initially, I was confident it would be retrieved since it had my GPS tracker inside.  The challenge was it was wedged in an almost impossible location to find despite having GPS coordinates.

Norm and Kris made it their personal mission to find the “magic” bag this summer.  I think they realized how important it was to me.  Actually, I think I wore them out talking about how much I needed it back.  They set out on multiple occasions to look for the bag, each time failing.  I had pretty much chalked up the bag to the river gods and came to terms that it would be lost forever.  The fact they kept going out there to find it was really generous..I mean who spends their weekends going down the same stretch of river looking for someone else’s dry bags? Norm & Kris do.

Norm mentioned that he was going to look on Labor Day (again), I thanked him and did not expect him to locate my bag.  At this point of the year, if the bag isn’t found it probably would be a goner due to the onset of fall and then winter…and more snowpack.  The river would most likely rise next spring and push the bag into a different location and no telling if it would be found…or returned.

On Monday night, after dropping Vicki off at the airport, I returned to Mike’s house.  Norm sent me a text with a photo of an old ragged shirt asking me if it was mine, it wasn’t.  I asked if he had any fortune with finding the dry bag…and this was his response.

BINGO

BINGO

Celebrate good times!!!

Celebrate good times!!!

I couldn’t believe it…he freakin’ found it.  Unbelievable.  I immediately took off my shirt and ran around Mike’s house doing cartwheels.  Well, I didn’t but I felt like it although that would have been unbecoming guest behavior.

This was another humbling moment of the journey.  I can’t thank Norm & Kris enough for their dedication and persistance in trying to locate my bag. Next PBR is on me.

Kris and stuff

Kris and stuff

It's a wonder it was found...tall willows in back was location.  Water is 5 feet lower than day I capsized.

It’s a wonder it was found…tall willows in back was location. Water is 5 feet lower than day I capsized.

stuff, all dry

stuff, all dry

Thank you Watershed!!

Thank you Watershed!!

Kris and Norm!!

Kris and Norm!!

The Bag returns!!!

The Bag returns!!!

Great, great note Norm. Anyone considering paddling the Missouri in Montana, please contact Norm and Kris (Base Camp International)

Great, great note Norm. Anyone considering paddling the Missouri in Montana, please contact Norm and Kris (Base Camp International)

P.S. It is almost an out of body type experience when I see photos of where I started, it’s like I really didn’t paddle that section.  That hit home when Norm sent me photos of the find.

 

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9 Responses to Norm Miller & Kris Walker find the bag!!!

  1. Patrick says:

    my eyes are tearing up with emotions….a man reunited with his “stuff”…..

  2. Michael Callaway says:

    That is awesome

  3. bacaruda73 says:

    Man That is unbelievable!

    So happy for you Keith, what an awesome set of pals.

    I can’t believe that all that stuff stayed dry that long as well. If there are ever any doubters on the effectiveness of a dry bag, all doubt has been erased. lol.
    You need to let me know what brand of dry bag that is, I’m curious. They should give you an endorsement for their product. haha.

    Good Travels and Keep Paddling brother,
    Rog

  4. Norm says:

    Yep, It was ‘UNDER the Big W” all along….. “W”illow trees. I knew it was there.
    Cheers!!
    Norm

  5. David Waller says:

    So awesome. When they make a movie about your journey, can I please play Norm’s character? Unless he wants to play the role himself. I would volunteer to play your character, but 1) I can’t pull off your hair color; and 2) I don’t think I can pull off that impressive beard.

  6. Jacque Sunderman says:

    That is the most amazing story of people helping people! I’ve been watching your journey, Keith, as have many of our mutual clients. This is an amazing journey for all of us. Enjoy dear friend!

  7. James Harper says:

    I especially love the “oopps!” on the map. Nice tough Norm.

  8. Mary Bayes says:

    So glad you got your stuff back! Congratulations on reaching the Mississippi. Keep safe.

    Mary and the gang at Clipper Canoes.
    clippercanoes.com

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