On May 9, 2022 Karen Walker passed away after a many-years long valiant fight against cancer.
Karen loved the outdoors, especially camping and hiking the numerous trails in Idaho. She was always planning her next adventure but when she wasn’t traveling you could find her in her backyard gardening or doing home improvements. She was an avid dog lover and would bring home stray and homeless animals. She would often speak to the dogs before she would speak to their owner while she was hiking or on trails!
Karen had many loving friends and will be missed by many people.
On the first day, after trying a kayak, I needed to give myself a rest. I jumped into a comfy oar boat and grabbed a seat next to Toni and Karen, two of my new friends. Larry, our river guide, manned the oars, and it was not long before he had us all rolling in laughter.Larry would purposefully steer the big, gentle raft directly into the whitewater so that the raft would bounce in the waves and the river would splash us just enough to make us squeal with laughter. Karen’s laughter was bold and fearless, and it rolled up the canyon walls like sunshine warming granite.I soon realized that I could make Karen laugh even harder by teasing her: “Watch out, here comes another wave, it’s gonna to be a good one!” Toni’s laughter was kind and easy, like the peaceful lazy parts of the river. Their laughter was infectious and I wanted to make them laugh more so that I would laugh more too. It had been a long time since I had belly laughed.–Emily Lillian Macmaster
Karen had hoped she could pay it forward. With all of this in mind, her children have donated the equivalent of TWO 6-Day Salmon River trips for two amazing cancer thrivers in 2023 from her estate. Thank you so much to her three children and their families – Josh (Trista), Lela (Ryan) and Erika (Josh).
Our River Discovery team is so thankful for all of the memories we have of Karen – Survivor/Co-Survivor Retreat (2016), 6-Day Salmon River Adventure (2017), Snowshoeing and Paddle Out Cancer. We will be sure to pass along her story to the lucky recipients of her legacy gift of adventure.