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About Us

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What is Wilderness Chick?

It’s a place where Kirk and I will share our hiking adventures as well as our thoughts and feelings about life in general.

 

We have over a century of experience between the two of us. Over a century and a half if you are willing to include Misha’s dog years. We are all a bit gray, but we have earned every one of them.

It's also a place where we want YOU to share with us. Check out our guidelines. We can't wait to hear from you.

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As we said on our "home page", we are not professional hikers, and this is not a traditional hiker blog. We are average people with jobs and a budget that keeps us rational with our travel and gear choices. We mostly hike in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

 

Our resume includes hiking the Oregon section of the PCT (455 miles), the Timberline Trail around Mt. Hood and climbing Mt. Adams. We enjoy sharing our stories with you along with our thoughts and ideas about life, love, and adventure and we welcome you to share yours with us. 

 

Hiking is good for the soul.

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Who is the Dude? 

Kirk is a rare breed. He’s a walking mailman for almost 30 years now. For over half of that, he has walked the historic Willamette area of West Linn, Oregon with his satchel slung over his shoulder, about eight miles a day on his route. 

Kirk was a hunter and fisherman. When I met him he had a distinct disdain for hiking.

“Why do I want to go wander around in the woods for no good reason? Hiking is stupid,” he said.

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Yeah, that’s right. He said that!

 

After many arguments, he agreed to go along if only to make me shut up, but right away, hiking got under his skin.

I told Kirk about the PCT and explained how I wanted to hike it, if only in sections. He leaped on the idea. I had always thought of it as theoretical somehow...Something that could happen waaaay in the future. Kirk spoke of it in real time and started to plan immediately to hike the 455 miles of the Oregon section.

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Who is the Dog? 

Misha was born in May 2012. As soon as his legs were long enough, he began to hike with Larry and me. His first overnighter was Burnt Lake. He is a professional now, with rock hard muscles and unending stamina. He has been around Mt. Hood with us and hiked 150 miles of the Oregon PCT in 2019.

He and I have been hiking together for eight years. I know his moves, and he knows mine. He helps me down steep

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spots standing still or moving slowly while I use him as leverage. I keep him away from cliffs since he has no fear of heights.

Misha knows the difference between the day packs and the trip packs, so the minute he sees them come out, he scrutinizes them to see what we are going to do. His favorite trail snack is beef jerky, but he also begs for Cliff bars and peanuts.

Who is the Chick? 

I have always loved the outdoors. I grew up in the country, barefoot, climbing trees, happy when my feet were buried deep in the rich, dark soil of Grandpa Newt’s garden. I was happiest in the woods with Newt getting wood or visiting the ghost logging camp of his childhood.

I began to hike when I fell madly in love with my second husband Larry. Through him, I fell madly in love with hiking. When we got married, we took advantage of every opportunity to hit

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the trail. We were beginning to plan a section hike on the PCT, but then Larry died, and so did everything in me including all my dreams. 

 

For years I worked at HVAC companies, but I was not working at the time. When I had to go back to work, I decided to do something new.

Through a whole series of miraculous events, I was hired by USPS and met Kirk, my OJI (on-the-job-instructor). Despite my loud protestations that I would ever find love again, Kirk is now my full time OJI, We have rebuilt our lives together, on and off the trail.

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BURNT LAKE

June 15, 2013

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Larry,

Because of you, I went to the Wilderness and found healing. Because of you I hike...

WILDERNESS CHICK

 

I started this blog to record hiking adventures and then it turned into a grief blog and now it is dedicated to hiking and life in general. It is ever evolving which is exciting. 

​I personally have spent a lot of time lost in my own emotional wilderness, which for many years felt like more of a barren wasteland, from which I could not escape.

​It wasn’t until I began to frequent the actual wilderness that I began to experience physical and mental restoration in my life. Wilderness is crucial to our human spirit in all its contradictions of wild and peace, cruel and beautiful, hot and cold, life and death.

It is essential that we stand on a mountain top and realize how small and insignificant we are in the scheme of things, but so loved by the Creator of it all.

​When I reserved this domain name ten years ago, it resonated on more than one level and it still does as I come here to share with you the remarkable life I found in and through the wilderness.

"Beauty beyond thought." (John Muir)

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.

What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself." 

Alan Alda