Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Brookside

As I have plans to visit my brother and his family in the western suburbs of Chicago this Friday I wanted to find a reasonably priced place to camp in southwestern Michigan.  Some online research revealed that the city of Otsego, MI has a small area in it's Brookside Park reserved for RV's with hookups for the extremely reasonable price of $10 per day....3 day maximum stay.  You just register and pay at the police station and go pick your (one of four) spot.

Also courtesy of your $10 bill, but still a great deal!
It WAS the middle of the week but I was still surprised that I had the campground completely to myself, although a few locals would stop in and eat their lunches on the picnic tables occasionally.  

The lonely looking Tank.
It's a very nice little campground, far enough away from M-89 to be fairly insulated from road noise.  No facilities but Port-a-john's are provided.

There really is a brook flowing through Brookside.
 I discovered a shortcut out of the park that led right to the back of a Dairy Freeze which sells the largest one-scoop ice cream cones I've ever purchased.

Danger!  Many calories are at the end of this path!

A Sadder Side to Life on the Road
Out for a walk Tuesday I noticed a older, white bearded, gentleman, probably in his late-60's early-70's sitting in the front, day use section of the park.  As it was 6 am I wondered at how early he must have gotten there but didn't pay it much thought after that.  Later, out the windows of the Tank I saw him engaging people in seemingly animated conversations but, again didn't think much of it.  There was a lady with her little girl who I could see shake her head no then after walking away a bit turn around to see if he was following her and that seemed a little odd.  Finally, about an hour after this, while researching campgrounds on the Internet and paying zero attention to my surroundings I heard a voice from the stairs of the Tank ask,

"Can I please talk to my wife?"

 I sat and thought for a second....could this be an angry guy looking for his wife and thinking I actually had her in the Tank fooling around with her?  Could he be armed?  Oh, and the screen door to the Tank doesn't have a lock so if he wanted to come in he could.

I replied,  "I'm the only one in here."  He said, "Fine but could I still talk to her?"

I started to get a clue that he was having problems.  He said that his wife had thrown him out of the house and he had no where but this park to go.  I asked if he couldn't return to his house but he said it was his wife's and she didn't want him there anymore and her two sons had come over and they were "big fellas".  It really tugged at me when he said,

"Who am I supposed to see or talk to? I can't figure it out"

I told him I didn't know because I wasn't from around here so I couldn't really help him and started looking up the Otsego Police Dept. number thinking the poor old guy might be a threat to himself.  He walked away but turned around and said,

"If you ever lose your place to live you can come see me and I'll help you because you'll know how I feel then."

I found the  police number and was getting ready to dial it but just then a Otsego Police car came into the park and pulled straight up to the old guy.  A policeman got out and started talking to him...apparently one of the people from earlier in the park must have contacted the police with the same concern I had.  A second police car pulled up and after a few minutes conversation the old guy got into the back of one of the cars, willingly, not under arrest or in handcuffs or anything and they drove away.  I hope they were able to find help for him.  I'm still thinking about what else I should have or could have done.  I didn't know if I should include this story for you all to read but this blog is supposed to be about living in the Tank and this was part of the story this week.

Thanks for reading!