Unlike most Halloween years, fraught with parties and candy, I didn’t do much this year.  The only thing I really did was get together with a friend from college and go to a corn maze.  It’s been a yearly tradition for about 4 or 5 years now, and it’s one of the few activities we can both make time for.  For the past two years I’ve been bringing my nephew, Alex, who is starting 6th grade.  Last year was his first, and it was only myself, him, and my friend from Eugene.  This past year it was a group of us, three from the Eugene area and five from our area.  

Each year we’ll get coffee or chai on the drive down.  It takes about 45 minutes to get there, and I take the second turn instead of the first like I should.  It would take 30 minutes, but as I only go to this location once every year, remembering which turn is the wrong one is a bit more of a challenge.  We still make it, it just takes a bit longer than it should.  As I always leave too early, however, so it always works out.

Did I mention yet that I also got to experience a car full of boys this time on the ride down?  A full car meant two adult men, and two 6th grade boys plus me.  That was definitely an interesting experience, considering I was driving and mainly listened to conversation.   

Anyways, wandering through a corn maze is a fairly common Halloween tradition here in Oregon.  Whether it’s haunted or not is the main factor of importance.  There are day versions of the maze, and then darkness-strewn horrors for those with more interested in getting the ‘be-jesus’ scared out of them.  We prefer the later.  The corn maze we visit each year is quite amazing because it is accompanied by people with chainsaws that chase after you, and a bus full of convicts/zombies that you must walk through.  My least favorite item is a small section you must walk through, where there are bags of cloth that are filled with air which only provide a small area that you have to push your way through.  I have some problems with claustrophobia, and so am very much not a fan of that section of the maze.  There are also many, many people in masks that lurk behind corners waiting for you to look the other way.  

There is something to say about the way the moon will light up the tips of the corn stalks as you walk down the long paths of the maze.  The wisps of stalks chatter amongst themselves, for they know where the frighteners lurk.  The slight chill and dampness of the air makes the hair on the back of your neck prickle.  There is a light crunch to the dampened straw underneath your feet, which increases your heightened awareness.  Around that corner could simply be another path, just another path surely...

Once out of the maze we’ll drink warm cider and eat kettle corn for a bit, then slowly wander back to our cars.  Driving through the night on the way home can be somewhat tiring, but that’s why I had Robey do it this year.  Less work for me, and more time joking around with my nephew in the back seat.  Especially when this included me doing my utmost to gross him out by sticking glow sticks in my nose.  I really am going to embarrass the **** out of him when he gets older.  I can’t wait..

Up Next Time: How to find more brain power...because translation finds it to be very tasty