I have been a writer for as long as I can remember, and a professional one for over 10 years. As a freelance writer, I have written for many different types of publications including magazines like Sun Valley Magazine, SVPN, Backpacker, Bitch, and The Source; newspapers including Boise Weekly, Idaho Press, The Weekly Sun, and Mountain Express; websites for businesses and companies; and websites like Matador Network and Visit Sun Valley. While I have written about most topics (food, architecture and design, sports) my passion is the outdoors and my favorite pieces I've written are ones based on my own passions.
IDAHO’S CITY OF ROCKS EXPANDS INTO NEW CLIMBING TERRITORY
While certainly no Joshua Tree or Red River Gorge, City of Rocks National Reserve in southern Idaho holds its own as a climbing mecca for the area, with a storied history, over 600 routes, over 120,000 visitors each year, and 14,407 acres of land. During the first week of December 2022, the National Park Service acquired an additional 105 acres of land adjacent to the City of Rocks and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation purchased 260 adjacent acres, all land that had previously been privately owned and had limited access for use. With these new additions comes the opportunity for the development of many new climbing routes.
DIARY OF A BACKPACKING WIMP
Exhausted and filthy, I collapsed on the shuttle dock at the far side of Redfish Lake. I tossed my backpack aside, unable to stand looking at it anymore. My three friends and I had just descended from a backpacking trip to Saddleback Lakes—also known as Shangri La or Elephant’s Perch—and had missed the most recent shuttle by ten minutes, which meant we would have to wait another hour for the next. All I could think about was getting back home to Ketchum to order Thai food and watch the new episode of Game of Thrones. As more people filled the dock to await transport to the main side, they took a look at us (or more likely, at me) in our filth and exhaustion and asked how long we had been out there.
SMALL TOWN DATING (IF YOU CAN EVEN CALL IT THAT)
“She’s fresh meat.”
Sadly, these exact words have been spoken often of a new girl in my small, mountain town. Whether said amongst girls trying to explain why so many men who have never shown interest in them are suddenly flocking to this girl’s side or among men trying to stake a claim, having a new person in town who is single is impactful enough in a small social scene for people to use words usually reserved for hungry predators. Here are a few other things often said about dating in my small, mountain town:
SUN VALLEY: IF YOU LIVED HERE, YOU'D BE HOMELESS BY NOW
Boise Weekly/Idaho Press
Sun Valley has a bad habit of making the news for all the wrong reasons, like having one of the nation’s highest COVID infection rates circa March 2020 or being the home of notorious Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl. This summer, that reason was workforce housing, or lack thereof.
LIKE A DOLL’S EYES: SUN VALLEY, IDAHO’S BEST SKI CREW YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF
It was a cold night when men and women from all walks of life and cliques of Ketchum descended on a Russian-themed house party in their best interpretation of the theme: fur coats, babushkas, tracksuits with wife beaters and gold chains. Cries of “nostrovia!” were yelled as shuttles transported people back and forth to the party. The house burst at the seams as more and more people arrived and passed around shots of Revolution Vodka — the party’s sponsor — and the live five-piece band played fun covers in the background.
JOURNEY TO DEVIL'S BEDSTEAD
“Can you tell me more about Luke’s accident?”
I sat across from my friend Avery Shawler, her body in various bandages, her left eye swollen and stitched. I had come to drop off her mail while she recovered from a life-threatening fall on the nearby peak of Devil’s Bedstead, a harrowing experience she was lucky to have survived. Almost a year to the day prior, my friend and climbing partner Luke had climbed the same peak and fallen in almost the same exact spot, unfortunately not making it out alive. As one of the few people in town who knew him, Avery was curious to know more about his accident and how it compared to hers. I was in a unique position to try to understand what leads two backcountry-experienced 25-year-olds to have the same kind of accident but for only one to make it out alive.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CLIMBING IDAHO'S CITY OF ROCKS
Idaho enjoys superlatives when it comes to the outdoors, such as the country’s most sought-after white-water rafting and its earliest ski resort. It’s time to add another one: rock climbing. Not only does Idaho have a variety of climbing options across the state, it’s also home to the City of Rocks.
KATE BOSWORTH: PIONEER WOMAN
Being a woman today, particularly in Hollywood, can often be polarizing, resulting in the cognitive dissonance of trying to be beautiful without being overly sexual, smart without being a know-it-
all, powerful without being perceived as bossy or difficult. Kate Bosworth—actress, producer, and activist—manages to be completely badass, honest, and outspoken while also still being beautiful, fashionable, and nice to boot, all with the elan and grace of someone beyond her 35 years. It is her trailblazing in the film industry as both an actress and producer and the roles/issues she chooses to highlight in her career that make her worthy of Sun Valley Film Festival’s Pioneer Award, presented by Nat Geo WILD. Bosworth will be presented with the award at this year’s fest and will also participate in Nat Geo WILD’s Salon Series at Festival HQ.
#SAFEOUTSIDE: THE RISE OF A #METOO MOVEMENT OUTDOORS
Boise Weekly and Bitch online
I was in my car with my dog in Utah, trying to fall asleep despite my fear. Ten days into a solo rock climbing road trip, I had landed in St. George for the night where, unable to afford a hotel room, I had sought out BLM land where I could park for free. I had slept in my car alone with my pitbull, Otis, plenty of times; but this time I felt afraid. Nearby I had seen men drinking beer and driving their ATVs a bit wildly.
Our parents’ music is the soundtrack of our formative years, shaping our memories and cultivating our tastes until we begin to develop passions of our own. In my parents’ household, the folksy singing of artists like Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and, of course, Emmylou Harris, was a constant presence.
THE MYTHOLOGY OF RUSSEL CHATHAM
There are thousands of words written about Russell Chatham, from articles in Esquire, Architectural Digest, and Outside to the several books written about his works to his own published books and articles. And if the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” is applied, these thousands of words all paint a vivid picture of the artist, man…nay—the personality—known as Russell Chatham.
OF KITH AND KIN
The word “kin” is defined as one’s family and friends, an apt name for the new restaurant of restau- rateur Remi McManus and Chef Kris Komori, who developed a family-like following at their former restaurant, State & Lemp. After closing down State & Lemp, the duo opened bars Amper- sand and Art Haus for seven months before beginning their journey into new bar and restaurant Kin, scheduled to open before the end of the year.
GOING TO THE SOURCE
Edible Idaho South
Farming is a way of life for much of Idaho; according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the state has nearly 25,000 farms and ranches spread over 11.6 million acres producing livestock, dairy products and a number of other commodities like potatoes, wheat and sugar beets. But in the Wood River Valley, the importance of food and agriculture to the state and to larger systems overall might not be apparent, especially to a 16-year-old.
SPEAK, PRAY, LOVE: ELIZABETH GILBERT
Of all the speakers coming to this year's Wellness Festival, perhaps none is better known than Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-selling and life-changing memoir Eat, Pray, Love. Which is perhaps why I was most nervous to do a phone interview with her; after all, she inspired a generation, would she have the time or energy to inspire me for this interview?
RISING STAR ALLISON WILLIAMS
From an adrift 20-something on Girls to an ageless boy who can fly in Peter Pan to the lead in the horror film Get Out, actress Allison Williams has certainly shown range in the short span of her career. It is this range that has made 28-year-old Allison the Sun Valley Film Festival's first recipient of the Rising Star Award.
HOW TO FIT IN LIKE A LOCAL THIS YEAR
Visit Sun Valley blog
When on vacation anywhere, the best advice anyone can give or take is to live like the locals do; they know the best food and drink spots, the best ways to navigate town, and by living like they do, you’re sure to get the best experience of that place. Ketchum is no different and while the tourist economy is how this town survives, it’s the locals that make it thrive. Take a few tips from us and by the time you leave, fellow locals will be asking you, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?…”
DONOVAN FRANKENREITER: MUSIC MEETS SURF
World champion surfer and musician Tom Curren once said, "There's really only three things you can write music about: girls, cars, and surfing." Fellow surfer and musician Donovan Frankenreiter, often called the protege of musician Jack Johnson, certainly has no trouble following that adage, bringing his passion for surfing and his experiences in love and life to his notoriously sweet, surf-inspired folk tunes.
LOW BROW AND PROUD OF IT: ARTIST NOBLE HARDESTY
Pablo Picasso once said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Channeling child-like wonderment and a lifelong love for all things “taboo” is Noble Hardesty, a contemporary Boise artist influenced by the aesthetics of graffiti, tattoos, cartoons and comic books. He has been a part of the local art scene since the mid ‘90s. As online site Tasty Vomit described Hardesty’s work in a 2012 article: “Noble’s imagery is a mix of mythology and fiction teaming with heroes, girls, monkeys, metal album imagery and blazing color.”
STEP INTO ANOTHER WORLD: BOHO LOUNGE
Sun Valley Magazine
Walk into Ketchum’s new Boho Lounge and one is immediately transported. From the Moroccan-style poufs on the floor to the 1970s macramé swings hanging from the ceiling to the Turkish pendant lights hanging over the bar, it’s clear that this is no typical Ketchum establishment. Designed to resemble a Balinese café that served as its inspiration, the Boho Lounge is the creation of 30-year-old owner Hannah McNees and her friend, interior designer and event planner, 31-year-old Brenna Cavanaugh.
WOMEN HIT A WALL: FINDING EMPOWERMENT AT CITY OF ROCKS
Growing up in Idaho, much of my life has been spent backpacking, hiking, and snowboarding. Loving the outdoors, however, did not necessarily equate to a sense of belonging in those communities--until 2014, when I hit a wall. Literally.
PLANT-BASED ENDURANCE ATHLETE RICH ROLL
Tired. Hungry. Exhausted. But happy. That's how ultra-endurance athlete Rich Roll felt at the end of his EPIC5, a 703-mile adventure completing five Ironman-distance triathlons on five separate Hawaiian islands in under seven days. To be sure, this is a feat of literally epic proportions, but what makes this adventure even more of an achievement is that just a few years prior to Rich's endurance competition, he had been the complete opposite of his current lithe, plant-based diet-eating, endurance self.
HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR DOLLAR IN SUN VALLEY THIS SUMMER
Visit Sun Valley blog
At the time, Sun Valley has the perception of being too expensive to enjoy. But like anything in life, there are usually affordable or free ways to find a good time, even especially in Sun Valley. And while we’re not saying you’re a dirtbag, the following are tips on how to live the most…money averse couple of days in Sun Valley in the summer.
FOR THE LOVE OF HOCKEY
Sun Valley Magazine
Like any institution in Sun Valley— The Pioneer Saloon, The Mint, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation—the Valley’s hockey team, the Sun Valley Suns, has a storied history, rumored lore, colorful characters, and long life to come. Celebrating its 45th season this year, the Suns started as just a few guys wanting to play hockey for fun and continues to attract men both locally and the world over for that same reason: to put the “fun” back in hockey.
CLIMBING ON WATER
Sun Valley Magazine
There is a sport flying under the radar of
southern Idaho; one where participants willingly head out into freezing temperatures, lugging ropes, crampons, and ice axes, before ascending steep pitches of ice, all for the thrill of what many might consider “type 2” fun. These are ice climbers.
BEAUTYCOUNTER'S GREGG RENFREW
The United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients in personal care products since 1938. This has led to more than 80,000 chemicals allowed on the market in the products we use every day— sunscreen and bubble bath for our children, men’s shaving cream, our kitchen soap. Even more shocking is that products like these
can be marketed as “natural,” “organic,” or “preservative-free” when the product may be none of those things. Studies indicate that many serious health issues such as asthma, cancer, and infertility can be directly linked to exposure to toxic chemicals like the ones in our personal care products.
FINDING A HAPPY PLACE: KETCHUM'S NEW KETAMINE CLINIC
Sun Valley Magazine
It's hard not to find some source of
depression or anxiety these days: from
political turmoil, to climate change-induced natural disasters, to rising obesity rates—the list goes on and on. And it’s not just adults, but children, too, who are affected. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 322 million people worldwide live with depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide. To combat this, doctors prescribe antidepressants, therapy, and even electroconvulsive therapy for some.
HILLSIDE GRAIN: FAMILY-GROWN AND MILLED ARTISINAL FLOUR
Sun Valley Magazine
When talking to Brett Stevenson, the founder of Hillside Grain, the excitement in her voice conveys the passion she has for what she does: growing grain and milling flour from her family’s farm in the Bellevue Triangle. What makes Hillside Grains unique is so much more than being a local farm making flour; this small farm is disrupting a centralized food system by using local grains to create craft flour. It’s changing our perception of flour from something that’s stripped of its nutrients, can be stored for years, and lacks flavor to something that’s flavorful, local, fresh, and nutritious. According to an article in The Atlantic, there were once at least 16,000 flour mills in this country; now there are less than 200. Stevenson is personally reviving this type of production in the Wood River Valley.