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Lost but not Found
Author's note: Coming across a old toy that I found brought back the memories of the time i got lost. I hope that people will understand that what doesn't kill you will make you stronger, and that people shouldn't take life for granted.
This is based on a true story. This was a real life experience that taught me that what doesn’t kill me, will only make me a stronger person in life. After being lost for several hours, I started to realize how lucky I was, and how to be thankful for what I have in life, and that no matter who you are, life shouldn’t be taken for granted. In the end, a simple little BUZZ LIGHTYEAR toy came to my rescue.
“Pack your bags kids! We’re going on a vacation!” How I love to hear those words. It means that I can finally get out the house. Usually, we just take an ordinary trip to Gibson, Louisiana, at Hideaway Ponds. Yes, I do love it there, but we decided to try something different; something, out of the ordinary. So we packed up our bags, hooked up the camper to the back of the truck, adjusted our rear-view mirrors, and hit the road.
Where were we going? I had no idea. I was curious, but not curious enough. I wanted to be surprised. It was a long but interesting ride. This is an unusual trip, considering it was a family of four, with our additional little cousin. To say it was close to a four-hour trip, some people forgot to use the restroom before we left the house, and when it finally hit them, there was not one gas station for miles and miles. In fact, they had to wait until we made it to the campground. Tears were rushing down the cheeks. Yes, that is how bad they had to go to the restroom. We finally pulled up to the campground with a few seconds left to spare. Before we got to the campground, it was tears of pain, but after the tank was unloaded, it was tears of joy.
I looked at the sign. I was dying to know where we were. The sign read “Welcome to Fontainebleau State Park.” I was super excited. Finally, I was a place that I have never been before. Usually, when we go to a new park, it means that there are some new thrilling adventures waiting to happen. I couldn’t wait. So we pulled in to the park. Dad took his regular 20 minutes to get all of the paperwork situated. I was just waiting for some mix up to happen. Considering that we are the Callegans’, we are usually short on luck, but for once, everything was right. So we just eased right in. With some pulling forward, and backing up, we finally got the camper in place. We had to set up, which is not the fun part, especially when we have to balance the camper.
Finally, we were done. It was getting kind of dark, but we didn’t care. I mean were kids so what’s the worst that could happen. Not realizing how big this state park is, we just took off walking. Each step that was taking was a step further away from our camper, and a step closer to darkness. It was cool, but creepy at the same time. Were we scared? No. Were we curious? I believe so. We heard that there was a beach at this state park, so we decided to check it out. The beach was more then half a mile away from the campground. By the time we made it to the peer, it was pitch black, with the exception of the lights along the boardwalk. It was getting late, and then I got the dreadful phone call. It was mom. “Where are yall? Do you know how late it is? Get yall butts back to the campground!” So we started walking back. It took about 15 minutes. We finally made it back, and when we did, it was shower, supper, and then bed.
The next day was a bright Saturday morning. All of a sudden we hear, “Wake up kids, breakfast!” and “We’re going to the beach.” Breakfast was gulped down in a heartbeat, and we were changed, and ready to go to the beach. Of course, instead of walking to the beach, we took the truck. When we made it to the beach, I was ready to soak up some sun. Every beach is always the same. There are your nice bikini babes, then the slightly over weight moms with the children running around. The girls who try to make themselves look hot when they aren’t, the big fat dude that goes into the water with his shirt on, the other big fat dude who doesn’t have a shirt on, but should have one on, and the drunk red necks that likes to float away on a raft with a 6 pack of beer.
After a nice, long morning at the beach, it was lunchtime. It was time to head back to the camper, but we wanted to walk back. So my cousin, my sister, and me went right ahead and walked. While walking, we came along this mysterious path. This path lead to a swampland where they had alligators, snakes, ducks, pelicans, and much more different species of wildlife. We get to the swampland, and we see plenty of alligators. Well, my sister and cousin chickened out. So we turned around and walked back.
On the way back, I came across a fork in the road. Two roads diverged in the swampland, and I took the one less traveled. Well, I went by myself stating that I would beat my sister and cousin back to the campground. So I start walking down the road. After about 10 minutes, I was getting a little worried. Maybe I made a wrong choice. I kept walking. It was curve after curve on this grassy road. 10 more minutes passed. I was getting scared. I just kept going I figured it was two late to turn around, so I kept going. I figured it was about 1:30 pm. I didn’t panic, but I started jogging. I figured the quicker I moved, the quicker I could get out of there. As I ran, I was becoming more and more terrified. I was afraid of what might be around that next corner. I stayed in the middle of the path, not getting to close to the edges, not knowing what could pop out and bite me. I’ve been running for about another 10 minutes. I turn on a corner, and there was my worse fear. It was a cottonmouth snake. Most people would stop, and go the other way, but not me. I wasn’t risking it. I did not want to die. Sprinted for about another 10 minutes. I thought to myself, when would this trail end? I ran into some bikers that were riding through the trail, and neither of them bothered to help me. I kept running. All of a sudden, I turned my last corner. There was a map of the trail with a place to sit. I thought, something wasn’t right. Why doesn’t the trail keep going?
It’s a dead end. I looked at the map. I saw where the end of the trail that said “You Are Here”. I thought, is it really a loop trail? I stood there in the middle of the open-ended trail and screamed, “HELP ME! HELP ME!” No answer. I stood there for half an hour, thinking, “This is the end of my life.” I didn’t have a cell phone, or any form of communication. This was it. I had 4 choices. 3 of them were trails that I saw. The last one was death. I either went back on the trail that bought me there, take this trail that became narrower the further I went down. I tried it, but chickened out. That was another 15 minutes wasted. I went back to the open-ended field. I was not going back the way I came. So my last option was a black top road. I know it seems like a trail I should have taken first, but the road had signs that said, “WRONG WAY” and “NOT A TRAIL” and “STOP.” I didn’t listen. It was time to break the rules. I started my trail on the black top. Mysterious cabins surrounded me, but it was nice knowing there was civilization around me. I kept walking, and came upon this single cabin. I decided to ask for help. I knocked for like 15 minutes. No one answered, I screamed. “Hello? Hello!” No one answer. I decided to leave before I would end up being shot. I started running down the black top road. Did I mention that I was in flip-flops? Sounds painful, right? I kept going after about 45 minutes of running down a long black road; I came up on as bike trail.
I had hope. I didn’t take the trail because I didn’t know which way lead to the campground. I kept straight. About 10 minutes later, I realized I finally made it to the main highway. I kept straight. I wasn’t sure which way was back to the campground. I came across this cabin that had a part going on. The people kindly came up to me and asked if I was lost. I asked them, “which way Fontainebleau State Park?” They kindly directed me on which way it was. I took off walking finally I was going to be home. 15 minutes left. While walking, I stumbled upon a toy. Not just any toy. This was a toy that would come to my rescue. It was BUZZ LIGHTYEAR! That was when I gained all of my hope back.
I knew I was going to make it. I finally made it back to Fontainebleau State Park. The park ranger asked if I was lost, and I said, “I was, but not anymore.” I was home. I just wanted to fall on the ground and lay there. The park ranger offered me water. I was so thankful for life. I was thankful that I was given another chance. I knew that what didn’t kill me would only make me a stronger person. I stated to walk back to the camper, and some by passers in a pick up truck offered me a lift. I knew I was going to be in trouble, but it was time to face to real heat my parents. I walked up to the camper 3 hours later then my sister and cousin. My parents ran up to me and hugged me and kissed me. I was shaking and very nervous. I explained everything that happened, and I did have to suffer. I suffered from being lost. My parents felt that I had suffered enough for 3 hours. My mom fed me, and made sure I was all right. Yes, I was sunburned, and sure I had two huge blisters between my toes, and I was defiantly dripping head to toes in sweat, but nothing felt worse then the pain of being lost. I thought my life was going to end in a heartbeat, but it didn’t. With just a little prayer, and asking for another chance, it opened my eyes. It makes me realize that life shouldn’t be taken for granted. It was most defiantly the toughest battle I had, but it felt awesome knowing I won that fight.
I learned that we should never give up in life. No matter what the challenges are in life. Big or small, we should never give up. Times may get tough, but it can only get better. It’s our lives. We control it, and sometimes we take that the wrong way. We must remember that it’s never wrong to ask for help. In a blink of an eye, we can either have everything, or lose everything. Remember, it might not be a good idea to take the road less traveled, but it will give you a great experience. One thing that we do not control is death. When we die, it means that he is ready for us. People think that we have everything that we need hear on earth, but we don’t, but we must remember, when its our time, it will happen, and there will be not a thing that can be done. It’s not something to be scared over. It’s something to be glad about.