Who’s there: Eric Teot | SummitDaily.com

Who’s there: Eric Teot

Summit Daily/Bob Berwyn Eric Teot

SILVERTHORNE – It’s not unusual for regulars at the Silverthorne Recreation Center to be greeted by name at the check-in desk, especially when Eric Teot is in duty.The 48-year-old says he makes it a point to try and remember everyone’s name, even before scanning membership cards.”I try really hard. Everyone has some real distinctive feature that makes it easier,” Teot says, recalling one woman with a shock of bright red hair. “That was pretty easy. The second time she came in I said, ‘Hi Anne.’ She gave me a look and said, “you’re kind of creepy.”Teot tells the story with a laugh, and since there’s clearly nothing creepy about him at all, most guests at the rec center surely appreciate the personal touch.

Like so many others, Teot came to the county for the skiing in 1975 and settled here after several other ski bum stints around the West, including Vail. He’s also lived in Leadville and Boulder, and now lives in Silverthorne with his wife, Kim. The couple has two children, 16 and 19 years old.He was born in the Berkshires of Massachusetts.”It’s a nice hilly area. A great place to grow up,” Teot says.

College plans took him to Utah, where he studied geology. And he still puts that education to use every summer here in Summit County.”I’m a rockhound and a gold prospector,” he says, explaining that he uses a metal detector to scour old tailings piles in the High Country on a piece of leased ground at about 11,000 feet.”If the original miners had had metal detectors, there wouldn’t be any gold left,” he says.Teot has made several decent finds over the years, even though the short season only allows for a few expeditions per year, following in the footsteps of Summit County’s first settlers and explorers.

“I don’t get out nearly as often as I’d like,” he says.”My best find, if you think of it in terms of gold bullion value, was a piece of gold I found near Breckenridge that was part wire and part crystallized,” he says, explaining that someone offered him $3,500 for the half-ounce chunk, an offer he declined. Over the years, he’s found plenty of other goodies, including plenty of smoky quartz, topaz, amazonite and turquoise (in Utah).And while he says he’s sold a few of his finds over the years, it doesn’t quite pay the bills. Consequently, he holds a second job at Zales.

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