Prof. Rorey Padfoot
This past week I participated in one my most favorite fall time activities, a corn maze. A friend of mine asked if my significant other and I were able to join them and a few others at the local farmers' market that evening and walk through the newly completed corn maze.The market tends to have one every year, but each year they make the design a little different. There was a small charge to get into the maze, but since we are friends with the owner we were given a discount.
The most interesting part was that the creator of the corn maze was at the market when we arrived, so he was able to give us a little insight into how he creates the maze each year. He told us that first he designs the maze on paper which includes the name of the farmers' market and then the design he is choosing as the path. Typically the beginning of the corn maze is the patrons walking through the letters of the name of the market and then the people can choose to go the easy route, or the advanced route.
Once the final design is chosen, the owner draws it to scale and maps it out with chalk on the field. Mind you he has already planted some corn at this point, so the stalks would be tall enough by the time the maze is ready for customers. Once the chalk is down, he stated he mows (with a regular size lawn mower) the path to start it off. He says this can take a full day or two just to mow out the design. Once this mowing is done, he then gets on the big tractor mower to make the path larger and wide enough for families to walk through. He says in total it takes him a good two weeks to get the corn maze ready for people to start walking through.
When my group started walking, we of course chose to go the advanced route. We were told there were four checkpoints in the maze that if you were able to find them and take a picture of them with your phone you could show it to the ticket booth person for a prize. My entire group was quite competitive so we needed to find all the checkpoints. My group walked around the maze for 45 minutes total and we logged over two miles of walking with our pedometers and we only found three of the checkpoints. After we found our way out of the maze and looked on google maps, we realized there was an entire back section we missed completely which we decided must be where that forth check point must be. Either way we still had fun.
Do you know if your area of the world has a corn maze nearby? Around here they tend to be connected to farmers' markets or local park areas. I have seen haunted corn mazes that are held at nighttime, but I’m not sure I could handle ones that had people jumping out at you while on the path. We went early enough in the season the corn wasn’t super tall yet, maybe as tall as we were, but by the end of season it will be taller than the height of an average person, making it harder to see where you are in the maze. I highly recommend supporting your local market area if they have a corn maze safely available for you to enjoy.
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