Peter Shelton

Global Cooling

Posted in Watch columns by pshelton on May 26, 2011

We turned off the heat May 1. This is not a rule at our house. It just seemed like time. High temps were in the 70s. I think it got up to 81 degrees one day near the end of April.

We have friends who turn off their boiler religiously on May 1 and pride themselves on not turning it back on until November 1. You can usually get away with this kind of thing here in the Colona banana belt.

In fact, when the days were warming up a few weeks ago, and the sun was beaming in early and setting later and later, I began to fear, ever so viscerally, the heat that can shove a temperate spring into the oven of summer.

Then, of course, it started to snow again. (more…)

Fear of Falling

Posted in At the Movies, Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on May 19, 2011

Years ago, I had a great volunteer job over the Mountainfilm weekend: I would get up before the sun and lead anyone who wanted to go on a ski tour from Ophir to Telluride via East Bear Creek. The festival was smaller then. Just one theater – the Sheridan Opera House. And films were programed only in the evenings, so festivalgoers could get out and climb or ski during the day.

One crunchy, blue-snow morning in 1988, I found myself hiking with a solo festival guest, a powerfully built but shy seeming, somehow reticent young man named John Harlin III. (more…)

When the Enemy is Adorable

Posted in Animal Dreams by pshelton on May 13, 2011

They look so cute up on the rock sunning themselves in the morning: a mother golden-mantled ground squirrel and her litter of five fuzzy youngsters. (more…)

Tick Tock

Posted in Animal Dreams, Watch columns by pshelton on May 12, 2011

I was lying under the car in that strangely peaceful place where dirty oil is flowing into the pan and I’m about to unscrew the old oil filter – when I saw a tick crawling on my sleeve. There was another one ambling across the old blue camp pad I use to soften the gravel in the driveway. (more…)

Part 3: When Do We Find Out If We Passed?

Posted in Road Trips West, Watch columns by pshelton on May 5, 2011

The final station, the last stop in the daylong draft physical, was the medical captain’s office. I want to say I was still in my underwear, but I can’t be sure. The memory is blurry. Surely, I think now, 41 years later, they would have allowed a potential recruit the dignity of his shirt and pants. (more…)