Joon’s Thoughts about Hiking the PCT

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My name is Juniper Jubilee but everyone calls me Joon. I am nine years old and in the 4th grade. My favorite subjects in school are math and science. I like to play sports. My favorite sports are swimming and springboard diving off 1meter and 3 meter boards. I also tumble and do trampoline. Another sport I do with my family is backpacking. Every summer we go on a backpack trip. This summer we are going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, starting at the Mexican border and finishing at the Canadian border. There are things that I am looking forward about the PCT and there are things that I am not looking forward to.

The things that I am most looking forward to see on our hike is snow and lots of different animals. We live in San Diego where it does not snow. On our PCT hike, I want to find a patch of snow and have a snow ball fight with my dad and I want to build a snowman. On past hikes, I have seen a lot of different animals: marmots, pikas, a bobcat, grouse, pheasants, wild turkeys, deer, chipmunks, rabbits, coyotes, snakes, frogs and banana slugs. I want to see all these animals and more, especially bears, elk, and mountain goats. Other things I look forward on our hike is watching Will, my older brother, trying to catch fish with his hat. It is really funny. He has never had any luck. Another thing I want to do is to stand on top of Mount Whitney again. I was seven years old when I first made it to the top while we were hiking the John Muir Trail. I am always the shortest in my school classes, and for once, I felt really tall. I can’t wait to fly home at the end of our trip. I have never been on an airplane before. There is one more thing I am really happy about, and that is my dad gets to stay with us for 5 months with out having to go to work.

There are a lot of things I am not excited about our PCT hike. The biggest one is missing home. I will miss my warm, comfortable bed with all my stuffed animals. I will miss my friends who are Aurora, Alysha, Malia, J.D. and Sabrina, my cats Ollie and Oggie, my hamster Patches, and my room that I share with my brother. I will miss watching Gilligan’s Island and I Love Lucy. I will miss my diving friends and my coach Terry. I love home! I am afraid I will not get to have chocolate cake on my birthday or that I will not even have a birthday. I am not looking forward to mosquitoes, especially the ones in Oregon! They have super long stingers that go through clothes and even tennis shoes. I always get hundreds of red, itchy bumps. The thing I am most afraid of is thunder and lightening. The loud booms scare me and I am afraid the lightening will set the trees on fire and will burn us.

Even though I’ll miss my friends, my cats, my house, and being afraid of thunder and lightening, hiking the PCT is still worth the challenge. The PCT is going to be fun and scary at the same time. One thing I don’t have yet is a trail name and I would like to have one.

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