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Keep the Revolution going! If you'd like to make a donation in David's name please send a check to either or both of the following organizations:

Idaho Rivers United
David Norell Memorial Fund

2600 Rose Hill
Boise ID 83705

David Norell Memorial Fund

1050 W. State Street
Boise ID 83702
David’s letter to his sister and brother-in-law Amy and Travis
February 2004 (2 months before he died)
  (His niece Anna was 20 months old at this time and lived in Colorado)

“I bet Anna is really trouble right now. Getting to know her own voice and using new words. I really wish I could see her right now. I am missing a very important time in her life. Hopefully this summer I will be able to see her. I need to, so that she doesn’t forget who I am, or lose me from her vocabulary.”

[And David’s Mom is making sure she’ll not forget her Uncle David and what his life was all about]

David’s letter to his Grandpa
January 1, 2003
  “I am working on the production of my second kayaking film, Broke Hungry and Happy. I do hope it works out well. It is quite nerve-racking but I figure what is life without risks, whether it be financially, through sports, or otherwise. I hope to be able to have good stories to tell little Anna [David’s 6 mo. old niece] when she and I grow up.”

Card created by David for his parents

Thank you card from David to his parents

Written by David to his Mom on the occasion of his moving out
June 2002


"Mom, I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed living with
you and how much I appreciate your kindness and love over the years,
allowing me to stay at your house. I just realized how much I must like
living here when I started packing.

It is now time for me to push myself and move on in life though. I want
you to know that you were an integral part of this portion of my life
and what I might amount to in the future. I love you, David"

Journal Entry
Approximately 2001 or 2002?
  After boating the Little White Salmon, having dinner and watching some video, I have decided that I must be on my way back towards home. It is already midnight and I have a six hour drive ahead of me.

As I cruise into the suburbs of my home town, still 40 minutes away; it is a little past six in the morning on Monday. I am ready for bed; it has been a long drive. The traffic seems to increase as I get closer to home and I realize that these people are just beginning their day and are heading towards their “daily grind”. What a bummer it must be to have to be at work at 7:00 in the morning, five days a week, year round.

I have always known, but this is just another reminder of how great my life is. For the past six hours while all these folks were sleeping, I was driving home. I wanted to get home in time to take my pictures to develop and be up by eleven so I can boat again.

I sometimes wonder if they knew how I lived my life, would they get angry that I have it so easy, or would they be happy for me and wish me luck? My life is the way it is because of the decisions I have made in the past. Everybody has the choice of what to do with their own lives, but it seems as if some people don’t realize it. I mean any one of these sad looking people could be doing exactly what I do: eat, sleep, kayak. I am happy a lot of them don’t, but it is possible.

Sure I live in my car, don’t make much money and don’t get to shower often but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I get to travel all over the country doing nothing but enjoying life to its fullest. I get to see tons of beautiful rivers, meet lots of new people, and eat out a lot. I don’t know why all these “grinders” don’t do it too. You only life once, so live it!!

David’s email to his Mom telling her about his decision to
pursue a career in kayaking rather than continue in college

(condensed version of David’s email to me)


“I just don’t see my future, or what I want to do with my life, consisting of school.. I know I can make it if I want something bad enough. Trust me, I really want to have a good life so I will do everything in my power to make sure that I have a good life.

Unlike most people of this world, money and ordinary things don’t fit into my life goals and plans. They are nice but I consider them luxuries. I am different than most people in this world. I have known for years that I was not like everyone else and it is now time for me to put my life in perspective and start doing what I will be doing for the rest of my life. If I don’t work on it now then everything will be lost.

I must pursue my dream of kayaking now; otherwise it will be too late. I am almost 20 years old and I realize that once I turn 20 that I must be on my way for what will determine the rest of my life. This is why now is so critical. If I go another semester I will have lost that much time and money towards reaching my goals. For the next few years I will have to be working towards my goals to make sure everything falls into place.

My life depends on the decisions that I make almost to this very day that could very possibly determine the outcome of my life. The time is now, so it is time to put my mind and body to work, it can’t wait any longer……

I hope that whatever the outcome you and Dad will support my decision, no matter what it may be, because support from a loving family is one of the best encouragements to me there is. I will pull through….I have done it up to now. Either college or kayaking, will have the same result in the end…. The life that I will have to live with.

Love your Son,

[PS from Mom: We support you, David! You made a great choice about how to spend the next (and last) 5 years of your life. We are very proud of you! 7/20/07]

Dangerous Dave