The population of 435 people in the Village of Cochrane, Wisconsin increased by two recently. Ed and I stopped there for a night as we traveled on Wisconsin State Road 35, otherwise known as the “Great River Road.”
We found a church parking lot that wasn’t quite big enough for our 40-foot long Prevost “Dolly’s Pride.” For the moment, we parked there anyway just to walk around town and find a more appropriate spot. We didn’t walk more than a few feet. A woman got out of her compact car to take a photo of the church so we asked her about where we might boondock for the night.
She knew the community well. She grew up here. This had been where she went to church. Across the street, she fondly remembered as the home of her aunt who ran the town gas station and lived upstairs above the pumps. As she reminisced, we noticed her adolescent grandson squirming in the car. He had accompanied her back “home” so she could show him the place of his family roots. She said we could follow her to the community park, a place where “nobody will mind you staying the night.”
Nobody minded that “Dolly’s Pride” took up all the parking spaces in the small lot across from the village swimming pool. Nobody minded that the two of us dined lakeside in a picnic pavilion with seating for 60. Nobody minded that we feed the ducks waddling under the drooping branches of the ancient trees. And, nobody minded that we pressed our faces to the fence and watched a herd of reindeer graze.
July 16, 2009