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Liu: The Sierra Trek

We marched like solid men in the frontiers. We were boy scouts on a mission to blaze through the backpacking trails of the Sierra Nevadas, explore the lush wildlife, and spend time away from the bustling city streets, computers, and polluted air.

Benjamin Liu, seventh grader at Dana Middle School, CEO of uScribe

Benjamin Liu, seventh grader at Dana Middle School, CEO of uScribe

From the adventurous troop 174, the 30 of us (primarily composed of scouts led by Scout Master Mr. Kerry Fortner) tackled a nine-day journey into widespread 75 miles of backpacker’s heaven.

The bright armies of sun exasperated my morale and put obstacles in my hiking. My thoughts primarily focused on setting each gaunt leg in front of the other. Sweat was streaming from my blackened, sunbaked skin and with each of huff and puff, my spirits were gradually dwindling. My stomach roared loud, deflated as if a needle had stabbed the heart of a soufflé from the two days devoid of food. The starry nights illuminated with billions of stars, planets, and galaxies refueled my burned out mentality. Our bodies were trapped in another world in which our thoughts were concentrated on backpacking. When each day abruptly concluded, we would gaze at the wispy clouds thinking, “This is the Sierra Nevadas. We’ve learned so much yet all we long for is something to fill our stomachs. My appreciations of superfluous everyday qualities of life, enhanced physicality, and undaunting mentality that surfaced in dealing with unexpected challenges were the result of our backpacking journey.”









Day 9: We packed our gear and heard our last “Tally-ho!” from our trail master. We were in anguish having to leave, yet joyful to return to our families. I tied my laces and headed toward the trailhead along with the troop, this time, as one group. I finally met up with my parents. They told me what a man I had become and I hugged them to death. My smile was as white as snow the whole day. I couldn’t help but fall asleep the whole 6-hour drive home. My dad must have carried me to my bed because suddenly, I awoke found myself lying on my cozy, soft bed. I felt as if it was all a dream, but I knew it wasn’t because when I took a shower, the water that entered the drain was black with dirt and scum from the 9 day trek.


— By Benjamin Liu

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