Fun, Fearless, Female, and … Feckless?: and #Casey Nocket

Last week, my friends Casey and Rebecca, helped bring to light the horrible story of Casey Nocket, aka Creepytings, and her vandalistic spree through our western National Parks. Casey’s post “Art” In The Parks, on his website Modern Hiker has an excellent summary of the whole issue (including updates on the case as they happen!) but in short a 21-year old named Casey Nocket using the Instagram handle “Creepytings” is a suspect in vandalism cases in eight National Parks and National Monuments; overall she has been implicated in vandalism in ten parks and monuments.

As disturbing as the Creepytings case has been, an article was published on, the online wing of the popular women’s magazine, entitled “Female Graffiti Artist Is The New Most-Hated Person On Instagram: And Possibly Your New Hero.”


My new hero?!?!

Cosmopolitan, often known as “Cosmo,” proclaims itself as “Fun, Fearless, Female.” Much of its content is relationship, sex, and dating related although each issue also includes content on the success of women and refers to challenges faced by women in the world. Normally, I consider Cosmo to be mostly a positive force for women. It focuses more on appearance than what appeals to me but I feel as if it also encourages women to embrace their sexuality not to mention really pursuing things in their lives and careers that drive them.

This article, however, completely blew that tradition out of the water. Helen Gurley Brown, who was responsible for this iteration of the magazine in the 1960s, would be mortified.

First, writer Lane Moore, referred to Casey and Rebecca’s as having “ratted her out on the Internet and to authorities.” Um, ratted out?

If I were willing to let that inflammatory phrase go (and I really wasn’t…I was disturbed that Cosmo would be sympathetically aligning themselves with Ms. Nocket), it got worse…

“…it’s hard to know where in the world Creepytings is right now, but wherever she is, she’s inspiring a lot of girls to break some rules.”


I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for Cosmo. Every few months I’ll buy a copy and enjoy it’s frivolousness. Moreover, one of my best teenage memories was the first time my parents let me take my friends on a two hour car trip. During spring break my sophomore year in high school, we were allowed to drive out to the ocean for a day. Along the way, we bought a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs and our very first issue of Cosmo. I was a naïve, young sixteen year-old and I felt so so naughty reading about sex and dating in its pages.

I feel so let down that this magazine (or at least its online equivalent), would be telling me, or even worse that sixteen year-old girl I used to be, that I should be inspired by Creepytings is absolutely appalling.

So I tried to do something. I emailed asking for a retraction. I Tweeted at the author Lane Moore and at the main Cosmopolitan account. I tweeted at editor Amy Odell, Executive Features Editor Lori Fradkin, Senior Community Manager Elisa Benson, and finally the Sex and Relationship Editors Emma Barker and Frank Kobola (Moore is normally a Sex and Relationship writer for the website). I have had no response from anyone at Cosmo (although Moore does appear to have deleted a tweet regarding just “blocking” those who were mad about her article).

So what now? Well, I guess I should just let it go. It’s not really hurting anything. However, usually the comments section of a controversial piece is a really scary place. This time, it’s been really supportive preserving our parks and almost 100% of the commenters called out Cosmo for endorsing Ms. Nocket’s behavior.

I’m still hopeful the article can be made to go away, or even better, to be replaced with an appology and a celebration of women who support our National Parks.

I’ve embedded my tweets to the editorial staff below. Feel free to retweet them often:

Telluride with Kristin

Kristin and I need to be better at taking Selfies apparently because this whole post looks like it’s all about SP and me. Luckily, she was kind enough to share some photos of our awesome day in Telluride here on the blog. We headed to Telluride via Last Dollar Road to enjoy the last of the fall colors, walked around downtown Telluride, gorged ourselves at Brown Dog Pizza, and rode the gondola to Mountain Village for a little extra scenery.

Courthouse Mountain

My friend Kristin came to town a couple of weeks ago for a visit (Kristin featured me in a Writer Wednesday post last year and did a guest post here about cross country skiing). I had hoped to drive her over one of our high mountain passes but the snow arrived just three days before she did. Ridgway, however, has a lot to offer so I started her out Friday evening with pizza and a beer at Colorado Boy and later we walked over to Trail Town Still (aka “The Still”) for a drink.

In the morning, we relaxed around the house with coffee looking out at the morning chill (I cannot wait to have my house cozy enough that this isn’t taking place in camp chairs!). Mid-morning, we headed up Owl Creek Pass to hike Courthouse Mountain. Courthouse has been on my list for a long time! It sits right above Ridgway and I look at it everyday. (Yes, it’s going to take me awhile but I do intend to climb all of them that I can see from town.)

I was a little bit concerned with how snowy it might be on the trail but decided to forge ahead with the plan anyway. It was such a lovely day with the snow dusting all of the mountains around us. Sprocket was loving the snowy trail and urged us to keep moving upwards.

The views just kept getting better as we looked out over the West Fork basin.

Sometimes, I think Kristin was less than pleased at what passes for a “trail” in Colorado but she kept with it.

And the views were worth every bit of the mud, snow, and elevation gain. I can see myself coming back to this mountain frequently. I don’t think Sprocket will mind:

Sunday Sermon

“Before you remove sugar, fat, carbs, dairy, cholesterol, and gluten to improve your life, maybe you should start with your fear, doubt, TV, video games, couch, and excuses.”




–Mickey Rooney

#DamselNOTinDistress, Part 1

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed the hashtag #damselNOTindistress floating around. Before we decided to part ways, F and I signed a six-month “work for rent” lease on a place that needed a little bit of TLC: pulling up old carpet, sheetrocking over wood paneling, and a few other miscellaneous projects.

Since I solely inherited this fairly large project shortly after a pretty life changing experience, I have to admit that it inspired in me a little bit of the “I am woman, hear me roar” feeling. Plus, since this project is taking up most of my free time (well, at least when I’m not hiking or doing something much more awesome), it’s one of the only things besides Sprocket’s sweet face I have to Instagram these days. And so, #damselNOTindistress was born.

I’ve even had to buy some tools. I get excellent service at Home Depot.

Colorado 14ers: Uncompahgre Peak

After the wild weather the night before, I wasn’t sure what Sprocket and I were going to wake up to. I shouldn’t have worried. We had the most gorgeous fall day for hiking! I had left home unsure if I’d take Sprocket on the hike but he quickly decided for me: this dog knows what sleeping at a trailhead is all about and he was not about to stay behind.

Sprocket and I made decent time heading up the trail, enjoying the views. Considering that we were on a 14er, we hardly ran into anyone at all!

Sprocket seemed to be soaking up every minute of the hike. He’s been quite the summit dog this fall—he definitely always seems to feel that the correct direction is up! (He also totally impressed me on this hike when he was able to pretty much ignore another off leash dog that wanted to play. Sprocket instead was focused on the hike.)

Just in case there were any worries about Sprocket handling the short scramble section on Uncompahgre, let me lay that to rest by saying he definitely lead me through this section:

Celebrating Sprocket’s first 14er!

I feel so lucky to call this place home:

Engineer Pass

When thirty minutes after leaving work, even including a pit stop at home to grab your pup and check your mail, you can see this, life is good.

Engineer Pass is often a whole day’s adventure for people visiting the San Juans. A couple of weeks ago, Sprocket and I started over the pass at 6pm to make camp at the Uncompahgre Peak trailhead for the night. Even though for us it’s a standard route to the high country, it definitely didn’t disappoint!

The weather started to turn a bit stormy as we crested the pass. I was glad to be in a jeep rather than on foot:

The leaves falling on the road were also pretty cool looking: