"From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint...

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."  Psalm 61



Kirk is a rare breed, a walking mailman. He has had walking routes for his entire 28-year career. For the past 18 years, he has walked the historic Willamette area of West Linn, Oregon with his satchel slung over his shoulder. His route is 8 miles per day. 


Kirk was a hunter and fisherman, and when I met him, he had a distinct disdain for hiking. He agreed to go along to humor me, but right away, hiking got under his skin. I told Kirk about the PCT and how I wanted to hike it. He leaped on the idea. I had always thought of it as theoretical somehow...Something that could happen way in the future. Kirk spoke of it in real time and started to plan immediately.


I began to hike when I fell madly in love with Larry. Through him, I fell madly in love with hiking. When we got married we took advantage of every opportunity to hit the trail. We were beginning to plan a section hike on the PCT, but then Larry died, and so did all of 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 applied at the post office, was hired and met Kirk, my OJI (on-the-job-instructor). Now he is my full time OJI, We have rebuilt our lives together, on and off the trail.


Misha was born in May 2012. As soon as his legs were long enough he began to hike. He is a professional now, with rock hard muscles and unending stamina.

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 will eat peanuts in a pinch.


After reading this, you know that we are not outdoor professionals. We hike because it is fun and good for the soul. 


This 455 mile hike through Oregon was our most exciting trip to date. After that hike, we still love being on the trail. We dream about the next long hike. We hope you will stick around and share in our victories and defeats as we continue to share our hiking stories with you.


I started this blog to record hiking adventures and then it turned into a grief blog and now it is dedicated to a wonderful cause and I couldn't be happier about that. 

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)

Thank you,

Marea Bartram


June 15, 2013

Larry Hauser & Misha Hauser

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

"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

© 2020 Copyright Wilderness Chick

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All photos by Kirk and Marea Bartram unless otherwise stated.