In our last post I mentioned that we’d been staying at Wickham Park in Melbourne, FL.
Wickham is a community park run by Brevard County, and is almost 400 acres – the campground is just a small part of it. The camping loops are kinda unique in that they’re fairly undefined sites – and folks tend to position their rigs at all sorts of angles to get the best view and privacy.
And unlike most public campgrounds, you can stay long term – making it an ideal snowbird winter retreat.
Stay with me here… I promise, this is NOT a campground review.
We’ve stayed there many times while visiting my parents, and have always loved it. Lots of trees, hiking trails, ponds, disc golf course, wild life, horse stables, dog park, senior center and an active fitness community.
It’s also conveniently located near the community college with lots of shopping within a couple blocks. And during this particular visit, the park is the site of the county’s charming holiday light fest.
Sounds nice and idyllic, right? Yeah, we had thought so too.
Last week I was walking with my mother, and we stopped to talk with one of her neighbors. When I mentioned we were staying up at Wickham, he immediately said:
“That’s a dangerous place! What, with the beatings and machete attack.”
Uh. *blink* What?
My mother dismissed him as teller of tales, but I immediately turn to Google. And I found nothing. So we chalked it up to local folklore or crazy talk.
And then oddly, Monday evening we caught a flash of a news story on TV – about how a Wickham Park ranger had totaled one of the park’s trucks that morning. Ok, weird… but things happen.
Now the story turns bizarre.
Officers had been called to Wickham Park back on the evening of December 10 to investigate – you got it, a machete attack.
Some nut job came into the campground, asked a family for money for booze and when they refused .. left and came back to attack them with a MACHETE!! Dude… a real fricken machete! In our campground!!
The local paper ran a brief story yesterday, which is why I found no mention of it earlier. If you want even more crazy, click through to the comments on the story.
After arresting the dude, the police went to track down the ranger on duty to question him. Much to their surprise, they found his heavily beat up car parked at the ranger station – which had been identified at a hit-and-run accident nearby with a pedestrian earlier in the evening. I’m thinking our ranger isn’t the best of drivers? And from reading more of the story, probably a bit crazy himself.
Oh, and did I mention that the last time we stayed at Wickham in April, we were awoken to a bang at the door at 5am to call 911?? A walker in the morning had thwarted an arsonist trying to burn the park down?!?
So.. let’s total the crazy we’ve experienced at Wickham Park this year:
- Machete Weilding Whackjob
- Pyscho Ranger
And that my friends, was exactly the impetus we needed to fire up the bus yesterday for our scheduled departure (which we had been contemplating extending).