Peter Shelton

Thank You, Dear Readers

Posted in Personal History, Watch columns by pshelton on September 7, 2013

This is my last column for The Watch for a while. Maybe forever.

When we were out in California last month, my parents, who are 88 and just shy of 90, talked more than usual about the end. (more…)

Old Bailey, Yard Ornament

Posted in Personal History, Road Trips West, Watch columns by pshelton on August 1, 2013

One of the last times I drove Bailey, our 1977 Jeep pickup, I headed up Buckhorn Road to scout for oak firewood. I hadn’t gone two miles though, when I noticed wisps of smoke emanating from beneath the hood. I pulled over and popped the latch to find a squirrel’s nest, made up mostly of stripped juniper bark, blazing away atop the engine block. (more…)

An American Abroad, der letzte Part

Posted in Personal History, Watch columns by pshelton on June 27, 2013

The American Field Service, which arranges international student exchanges, was born in war. A group of young Americans living in Paris in 1914 volunteered as ambulance drivers during World War I. Following the Second World War, they organized to send high school students from Europe to America, and vice versa. (more…)

An American Abroad, Part Zwei

Posted in Personal History, Watch columns by pshelton on June 20, 2013

I hadn’t been in Heilbronn a day when Mutti decided I had a fever and needed to “sweet” it out. “You sweet it out, Petey.” (more…)

An American Abroad

Posted in Personal History, Watch columns by pshelton on June 13, 2013

The summer started off on two wrong feet.

My eight weeks abroad with the American Field Service was taking me to Germany. I hadn’t studied German in high school; I’d taken French. I wanted to go to France. Or, failing that, to Mauritius, where they spoke French and a gorgeous, turquoise, left point break curled across the reef. I’d seen the pictures in Surfer magazine. (more…)

Before Civil Unions, A Gay Takeover

Posted in Personal History, Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on May 9, 2013

Colorado’s recent acceptance of civil unions reminded me of a social experiment in little Alpine County, California, shortly before Ellen and I moved there in 1973. (more…)

Road Visions

Posted in Personal History, Road Trips West, Watch columns by pshelton on May 2, 2013

One. Nevada. A few miles from the California line, heading into the setting sun on U.S. 6, I have to put my hand up in front of my eyes occasionally, so bright is the starflash on the windshield.

Signs have warned, wordlessly in silhouette, of horses on the highway, (more…)

April Showers Bring . . . Déjà vu

Posted in Personal History, Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on April 12, 2013

A late-season storm rolls through, a big one, the day after the Telluride ski area closes. A cruel irony? A classic bit of ski-bum lore? (more…)

Le Raid Blanc, Troisième Stage

Posted in Personal History, Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on March 23, 2013

Every mountaineering stage race needs its villain, and ours became the team from Piau Engaly. (more…)

Le Raid Blanc, Part Deux

Posted in Personal History, Ski racing, Watch columns by pshelton on March 14, 2013

From the sound of it, the randonée course Janelle Smiley faced at the World Championships in Pelvoux, France last month was fiendishly difficult. But it was just one day, or part of one day.

Rando races in this country are similarly staged as one-day events. The Grand Traverse leaves Crested Butte at midnight, with the fast teams arriving in Aspen for breakfast. The Sneffels Half Loop departs at sunrise from Last Dollar trailhead and finishes at beer-thirty in Ridgway.

But when we, Team Smugglers’ Notch, did Le Raid Blanc in 1987, we raced for six days straight, with a couple of “specials,” or stages, each day, the times accumulating like they do on the Tour de France. (more…)