Finding yourself lost in the cornfield | Front Porch | Indy Week
Pin It

Finding yourself lost in the cornfield 

We've been there twice. Both times on a whim. Leaving after a hurried dinner.

The mythical cornfield maze--the 12-acre cornfield maze down the windingest road in northern Orange County.

The first time we got so lost and turned around, the McKee's (it's their farm) sent out their dog and two boys with walkie-talkies to help us find our way out. They joked about how many people need the "emergency exit" on the northwest corner.

The second time we were smart. We took flashlights. Still, around sunset, close to 8 o'clock, we had to promise each other NOT to shake the corn stalks or make scary sounds. It gets freaky real fast in the middle of a dark cornfield, surrounded by eight-foot walls of whispering vegetation.

You think it's a just a walk in the park when you enter the first turn. At the first 30-yard straightaway, my daughter took off running as fast as she could, sprinting to the next fork. Once there, she paused, and we played voice tag for the next 20 minutes.

The maze curls, circles, and twists into itself. It dead-ends way too often. After a half-hour all the turns look familiar, but you know that couldn't be. There are still four checkpoints to find. The checkpoints, little waist high stations hidden in the maze, each have a "corn poem" and a special ticket stamp. Twelve acres is a lot of land to criss cross. The maze is deceptive, just corn and dirt, no frills, like those way-too-complicated, way-too-simple 500 piece jig saw puzzles where all the pieces look the same.

That's the beauty of the cornfield maze. It's all natural. No commercials. No slogans, no billboards. Deep in the middle, when we turn to each other and goes shhh, all we hear are the giant corn stalks, rustling (plotting our demise) and bending in the country breeze.

After an hour, we were staring at the sky often to get our bearings. In the dark, all we see are the bright lights of the far-off concession stand (homemade ice cream!) at the safe entrance (was that south west?) and the quiet crescent moon, grinning at the fun below. In the dark, we didn't run ahead, or separate, or talk about "signs", or joke about ANYTHING.

Well, that's not the whole truth, of course. I pretended my flashlight went dead and rattled a few corn stalks once or twice. And my daughter did totally shock me jumping out from behind one dark corner as we tried to find our way back.

Proud to have made it out on our own, we encounter Mrs. McKee and her dog. She was wondering about us, and her dog was most eager to have her evening romp with the maze herself.

Latest in Front Porch

More by John Valentine

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Front Porch

  • One vote

    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Box of one

    Was I paying to be helped or to feel important, a bona fide expert on only myself?
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • The Old South (Hills)

    The Old South (Hills)

    • Sep 17, 2014
  • More »


Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Nobody will be surprised to learn that Hocutt never went to Nam. He was in the Navy but washed out …

by Jefflenter on Raleigh bad boy no more (Front Porch)

I see his concern. Yes, it was a well written story and showed his caring side for sure. But not …

by Linda Bates Terrell on Motorcycle men (Front Porch)

Follow-up to my "nervous mom" comment. The last coupe of weeks we have been in many situations with individuals that …

by paulapowers on Governor's School blues (Front Porch)

Comments

'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation