pct trail journal

Every Thursday is paper day, but today I delivered myself! That was a strange feeling!  06/27/19


We drank in the crisp clean air and sprawling vistas of Mount Adams to the northeast of us. We began to drop back into the burn on a faint track. Then, without warning, the trail vanished.

Kirk was telling a friend about the planning area we have set up in our bedroom.


"We call it our war room!" said Kirk.

"We do?" I asked.

"Well, I do," he said...

We could go out there with a water bottle and a knife and try to live off the land... We are not going to do that.


With that said, as we get ready to go, we will share info and thoughts about our gear...

Posted June 14
Posted Apr 30
Posted Apr 13


Who needs delicious Traeger burgers, steak, fettucine alfredo or fresh fruits & vegetables for that matter, when we have these yummy dehydrated meals--just add water?

Criteria for Trail Food

  • Light weight

  • Instant or ready to eat

  • Easy cleanup

  • High calorie/carb

  • High protein

  • Rich in potassium


Options are limited. The freeze-dried meals are light weight and high in protein, and probably a step above MRE’s, but some taste so rich that it is almost impossible to finish. And they never seem to re- hydrate all the way. Don't get me started on protein bars, a daily staple. 


We will hit a few remote resorts or campgrounds every few days, so we will take enough food for each section and ship boxes with supplies to pick up along the trail. (After this, we probably won’t be able to look at anything dehydrated or instant ever again!)


Last year, we volunteered as relief counselors at the summer camp designed to give foster kids love, encouragement and support. We were so inspired by our experience that we wanted to do more. 


We decided on this hike because we wanted to demonstrate our commitment to this cause as we put our own blood, sweat, and tears into this project.

$500 gives one child a summer camp experience, a chance to feel loved and valued, perhaps for the first time, which can and does alter the course of these kids' lives. 

Please consider sponsoring us.


The Pacific Crest Trail runs from the border with Mexico at Campo, California to Manning Park, British Columbia, 2650. It takes about five months to hike the entire trail. We would love to attempt the whole thing, but we only have 30 days. 

The route begins and stays in the desert for 750 miles, then cuts through the Sierra Nevada's finally crossing into Oregon for 455 miles, making its way through Washington to end 30 miles or so into Canada.

The Oregon section of the PCT begins at the California/Oregon border. We will access it via forest roads. It ends at the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks. 

Last year, the about 7,313 permits were issued for thru-hikers, (a hiker who does all the whole 2650 in one shot.) 1,163 people claim to have finished the hike. 

Keeping you updated during the hike:



"It isn't every child who gets to drive their parents to the middle of nowhere and drop them in the woods, but today, Kinley will do just that!


We started at Donomore Pass Friday, July 5th and we hope to reach the Bridge of the Gods on Wednesday, August 7th! We left Misha behind for 3 weeks until he can join us for the final section.

We have two people helping to keep you updated while we are on the trail. Our daughter, Kinley Van Orden and our friend Ben Copeland. We will text them whenever we can and they will share on this website and on Facebook so that you can follow along. Thank you to them in advance and thank you for your support!                                   

Kirk & Marea

 July 5th, 2019

© 2019 Copyright Wilderness Chick

All photos by Kirk and Marea Bartram unless otherwise stated.