Lost in Yosemite: A Wandering Wednesday by Kevin Haggerty

IT’S SUMMERTIME BABY. Well, maybe for you it isn’t yet. Maybe you’re still taking classes or maybe the summer solstice hasn’t officially hit or maybe you’re living in Australia where it’s currently weirdly winter. Regardless of your/Earth’s situation, my camp-counseling self needed some blogging help this summer. And thus I present, “Wandering Wednesday: Guest Post Edition.”

To kick off this summer series, Kevin Haggerty or K-Haggs, as I never call him — is here to talk about a time he found himself wandering. Take it away, K-Haggs!

Have you ever been lost?

I don’t just mean the kind of lost, like when you can’t find your car In the parking lot or inconveniently miss your exit off the interstate. I mean really, really lost, to the point where you’re ready to cry.

When I was a kid, growing up in California, we used to go on vacation, as a family, to Yosemite National Park. It’s a fantastic place to get away. If you’re ever able to visit, I highly recommend it.

Every year, it was something to look forward to. Getting reservations at Yosemite were tough to come by. We would literally “camp out” outside the box office to buy campsite reservations, as if they were tickets to a Justin Bieber concert.

It was a big deal. If you didn’t get there at the crack of dawn, you weren’t getting a campsite. In retrospect, it sounds insane, but it made sense then and we loved it.

That year, we rented an R.V. It was amazing. It had bunks and places to hide. It had a loft style bed that was located over the driver seat. Crazy, right?

Anyway.

On one evening that will forever be remembered in the annals of history, I decided to hop on my bike and go exploring.

This wasn’t unusual. We did it all the time. But my parents were always firm on the boundaries. They gave me landmarks to use as my perimeter. I wasn’t supposed to go any farther in either direction.

I knew that, but whether it was outright rebellion or just plain forgetfulness, I went farther.

I went a lot farther.

By the time I knew it, I had no idea where I was. The campsites ran together and started looking the same. I tried to retrace my steps (or pedals), but it only got me more and more lost.

Eventually, it got to the point where I had no idea where I was. It was getting dark. I was just a kid. Every possible worst case scenario started running through my mind.

My parents wouldn’t be able to find me. They’d be worried. Maybe I wouldn’t get back in time and they’d leave me in Yosemite.

It sounds crazy now, but I was little. What did I know?

I’ll tell you what I didn’t know, and that’s “how to get back to my campsite.”

Luckily, a nice family saw me riding around, at this point, completely broken down in tears. They decided to help me, and began asking me questions about where I had come from, etc.

They walked with me back in the direction that they thought I may have come from. Finally, I saw them. It was parents. I was crying. They were crying.

It was like something from a movie.

When I got back to the campsite, my dad took me aside and told me he loved me. He told me he was so scared and he was glad to have me back. He also told me that he was disappointed in me for not following their guidelines. He disciplined me. I remember that.

For my dad, it was important to show me that he loved me, but also that I could never do anything like that again. We were lucky that time. There’s no guarantee we’d be so fortunate in the future.

I’m thankful; for parents who loved me enough to give me restrictions. I’m more thankful that they loved me enough to enforce those restrictions when I drew outside the lines. Rules don’t really matter if there is no correction on the other side of them.

My parents painted the perfect picture of God and His love. He gives us restrictions, but they’re not to stifle or to kill our buzz. He’s trying to protect us. He loves us.

I’m thankful for that.

Got any crazy family vacation stories? Your turn!

K-Haggs runs one of my favorite blogs, The Isle of Man. You can follow him on Twitter @kevinrhaggerty. You can also click here to get his FREE e-book, An Idiot’s Guide to the Galaxy. And you can check out inevitably adorable pictures of his firstborn son when he’s born later this summer.

Wanna submit your own Wandering Wednesday? Check out this infotastic post and shoot me an email at onetz53[AT]gmail[DOT]com.

  • Mom

    As your mom, I really remember this vacation. Twenty-six years later, I still remember it. I was 8 months pregnant with your sister, Erin, running through the campground yelling your name, praying, and trying very hard to stay calm and not have a breakdown. I even remember what I was wearing. I was crying and begging God to return you to us. He did…….and we have been forever thankful. You are so right when you say that~~”He gives us restrictions, but they’re not to stifle or to kill our buzz. He’s trying to protect us. He loves us.” When I saw you riding back into the campground, I collapsed to my knees and began sobbing. My son had returned. He was lost and now he was found. I think we killed the fatted calf (hot dogs) and celebrated your return 🙂  I don’t think you intended to deliberately disobey Dad, but he disciplined you anyway. How many times have I unintentionally disobeyed my heavenly Father, but He had to discipline me anyway?! Sometimes it is called, “suffering the consequences.” I am thankful! As parents, we need to allow our children to suffer the consequences. It hurts! It hurt me that Dad spanked you that night…but that night I believe we all learned a very valuable lesson. Thank you for your transparency, son!

    • Crazy times. 🙂 Funny, I don’t remember a ton else about being six, but I remember that. ha

    • TMZ

      Thanks for commenting, “Mom”! Thought it was my mom at first but then remembered my mom doesn’t know how to comment on my blog. You did a swell job with Kevin!

  • Is it wrong that my takeaway is that you could ride a bike at age six? Because that’s just plain awesome. Did I just miss your whole point entirely? Don’t say yes.

    Just an FYI. There’s a share popup that has followed me all over the post. I can’t click to get rid of, and it’s covering a good portion of the post. I’m afraid it’s going to follow me back to my secret hiding place and see where I keep my Moon Pies. 

    • Nope. That was the point. I could ride a bike at six. I’m awesome. 🙂

      The share popup covers text in the post? I can see it, but it isn’t covering text for me. Are you viewing on a mobile device? That may be it. That’s an issue for Tom. 

      Thanks for reading the post though Heather. You rock. 

    • TMZ

      Been experimenting with different share features. Not sure which I prefer, but thanks for the heads-up!

  • Our vacations were totally boring, though the best one was a cross-country trip to California.  We went to Disneyland, San Francisco, the Redwood Forest, Grand Canyon, Vegas….and more that I forgot.

    • TMZ

       Sounds like a sweetacular vacay! Still gotta hit up the Grand Canyon someday.

  • MLYaksh

    Eh, I had the boring “lost at Disney World” story as a three year old. I was too attached to my family as a kid to wander off.

    • TMZ

       I got lost at Disney for about 5 minutes once. Scariest moment of my LYFE.

  • I just stopped over thanks to the invitation of Kevin Haggerty.  You’re now added to my reader.  I’m looking forward to more great stuff here.

    • You hear that Tom? I’ll take my finder’s fee. 🙂

      • Now, I’m waiting for Kevin to guest post on my blog, so he can push readers my way.  I’m sure I can come up with some creative “finder’s fee”!

      • TMZ

        YOU’RE THE BEST.

    • TMZ

      So glad you wandered over here thanks to K-Haggs. Thanks for the add, Jon! Will add your blog to mine as well. All the best!

  • Nothing crazy like that Kevin but I do have a vacation story I remember.

    Almost every summer my family would head up to Mackinac Island. We’d do the touristy things and visit the fudge shops, walk or ride around the island, and visit the sites.

    One summer we were riding around the island. And there was this huge hill. I don’t know what happened. It may have been a crack in the road or a rock. Whatever it was, it sent me flying off the bike and scrapping my leg badly.

    No long term damage, but I remember it to this day.

    • Isn’t funny how things like that stay with us forever? Ha. Glad you were okay Joe!

      •  It is Kevin. Silly things but memorable.

    • TMZ

      Mackinac Island. I want to go to there just because of how it sounds. Thanks for stopping by and commenting with some of  your story, Joe!

      •  It’s an amazing place. No motorized vehicles other than a couple of emergency vehicles. Forced to walk, ride, or skate creates such a different atmosphere.