John Peel

Behind the former European Iron Curtain, then and now

DRESDEN, Germany – At some point well west of Weimar, we crossed the border into East Germany.Yes, I know, there’s no actual border anymore. There’s no no-man’s land where an overzealous guard...

DATE: Oct. 13, 2012 | COLUMN: John Peel

Sisters on the trail of 1907 killing

Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series about the 1907 death near Hesperus of Secret Service agent Joseph Walker and his great-granddaughters’ quest to see that his deeds don’t go...

DATE: Oct. 24, 2010 | COLUMN: John Peel

‘Little cog’ at Durango High School takes pride in big building

How’s this for an idea in an era of budget crunches:Use the high school custodian as a tour guide and charge admission. Really, who needs a mill levy?High schools don’t generally have official tour...

DATE: Oct. 10, 2010 | COLUMN: John Peel

In La Plata County, it’s politics as (un?)usual in 2010

The sun beams into the east-facing Democratic headquarters in the morning. It bakes the west-facing Republican headquarters in the afternoon.Are there other differences between the two parties and...

DATE: Oct. 3, 2010 | COLUMN: John Peel

Friends step up to help Durango family

One day she was overseeing the Durango city pool and, when not working, taking care of two little kids.The next day, the 31-year-old was lying comatose in a Denver hospital with clotted blood...

DATE: Sept. 26, 2010 | COLUMN: John Peel

Beyond Durango: A Summer Detour Living large in the Lone Star State

WASKOM, Texas – Seriously, you’re not into Texas for two seconds when the theme is set.Everything is big here. Everything.With a state and a mindset so huge – how can I be nice about this? – people...

DATE: Sept. 12, 2010 | COLUMN: John Peel

Even now, civil rights is a hot issue in Deep South Alabama

SELMA, Ala. – The afternoon sun cooks my uncovered head. Below, to my left, the lazy, mud-brown Alabama River flows by. To my right, rusted trucks zip past within reach of the narrow sidewalk.The...

DATE: Sept. 5, 2010 | COLUMN: John Peel

Beyond Durango: A Summer Detour NASCAR: Some folks lap it up

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Mix one part pro wrestling-type hype, one part raw power and one part mind-numbing circuits of a half-mile track. What do you get?It’s hard to say exactly. But this much we know:...

DATE: Aug. 29, 2010 | COLUMN: John Peel

‘Freedom' on the rise in Lower Manhattan

NEW YORK CITY – A stranger shoves a thin booklet of glossy photos into my hand and begins explaining them. Here's the World Trade Center before, here it is after, from this angle …My first reaction...

DATE: Aug. 22, 2010 | COLUMN: John Peel

Life seen through the fog of a high mountaintop in Maine

BAXTER STATE PARK, Maine – I knew I’d reached the exposed saddle only because the wind now was whipping and snapping a pack strap on my cheek.Blue dashes painted onto the rock and periodic cairns...

DATE: Aug. 15, 2010 | COLUMN: John Peel

Peace, love and a near riot in Cleveland

CLEVELAND – Lake Erie isn’t prime real estate for your beachhouse, its water not renowned for purity. The last half-century has witnessed a shrinkage in both population and the economy as its...

DATE: Aug. 8, 2010 | COLUMN: John Peel

Copper Harbor trails can take you for a ride

COPPER HARBOR, Mich. – It was my search for a pay phone that led to a chance encounter and unearthed more valuable treasure:A fantastic system of mountain bike trails, an easy route to cell phone...

DATE: Aug. 1, 2010 | COLUMN: John Peel