Position: Herald Staff Writer

Email: johnp@durangoherald.com

Is the window to the past closing?

Many of us take credit for discovering the magic and wonder of Cedar Mesa, convinced it was vastly unexplored when we showed up. In some eyes, it still is a wonderland. But word of mouth and the...

DATE: March 1, 2015 | COLUMN: John Peel

‘Death with dignity’ hits home

For the last 2½ years, with a death sentence hanging over him, Tom Byrne has attempted to squeeze every inch, every minute, every breath out of the life he’s been given. But when it nears the end,...

DATE: Feb. 22, 2015 | COLUMN: John Peel

Hung up on bad climbing movies

What’s your favorite? So many to choose from, but I like this preposterous climbing scene: Tom Cruise, after taking at least three seconds to study his predicament several hundred feet up on a...

DATE: Feb. 15, 2015 | COLUMN: John Peel

A little help to get by

Life can blindside you. When a crisis hits, the old daily routine quickly gets tossed aside. “I think we’re still adjusting to the new Walker normal,” Dean Walker says in a recent interview. “We’re...

DATE: Feb. 8, 2015 | COLUMN: John Peel

The transition zone

The tradition, pretty much passé these days, is to receive a gold watch when you retire. As a triathlete, Dave Rakita is blowing this tradition right out of the water – and immediately changing...

DATE: Feb. 1, 2015 | COLUMN: John Peel

The unseen backcountry trap

You analyze the avalanche hazard, you ski the slope, and everyone arrives at the bottom with big smiles. You’ve made good decisions, right? Time to find a similar slope for the next run. Well ......

DATE: Jan. 25, 2015 | COLUMN: John Peel

The ugly side of cute deer

It’s cute until it isn’t. A marmot waddles up to you, stands up on his hind legs and sniffs around. That’s cute. A mountain goat stares at you from five feet away, and you shoot a photo of the...

DATE: Jan. 18, 2015 | COLUMN: John Peel

Tragic ‘Foxcatcher’ has Durango ties

John du Pont’s broad-daylight murder of Olympic champion Dave Schultz 19 years ago unleashed a tsunami over the wrestling world. Shockwaves keenly were felt in Durango, where Dave and his brother,...

DATE: Jan. 11, 2015 | COLUMN: John Peel

Behind the scenes with The High Rollers

IGNACIO – The driver – he’s the bass player, too – backs up the truck to the dock, and the roadies – later they’ll form the rest of the band – begin to unload. From the trailer, decorated in The...

DATE: Jan. 3, 2015 | COLUMN: John Peel

Winter: Yay or nay?

Do you love it? Hate it? Tolerate it? If I start to whine about the season, I can just hear Jack Nicholson challenging me: “You can’t handle the winter.” So what do you say about winter: yay or...

DATE: Dec. 21, 2014 | COLUMN: John Peel

Outside chance

“What’s growing on that tree?” a young boy asked. Karen Carver, the Durango Nature Studies instructor that day, hadn’t even noticed the fuzzy material on the low branch. This was not part of the...

DATE: Dec. 14, 2014 | COLUMN: John Peel

In Nepal, we gave them the boot – in a good way

CHYAMTANG, Nepal – The blood oozed down my leg, darkening my sock. I'd slipped on a slick rock and banged my shin, leaving a 2-inch-long gash and the promise of a nice bruise. As our group took a...

DATE: Dec. 7, 2014 | COLUMN: John Peel

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