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Monday, October 8, 2012

What is a corn maze?

This year Hubby and I returned to the Dixon Corn Maze along with some friends. I wanted to go again because it's fun exercise.

A corn maze is a dirt path that winds its way through a corn field. There are dead ends, loop-d-loops, and intersections where several paths converge. You have to choose which one to take and hope for the best. It's no easy thing to find your way out because the corn stalks will be well over your head so all you can see is corn and sky.

The Dixon Corn Maze is huge. 53 acres to be exact.

We found out this year's maze was harder to get through than last years. Last year the average finish time was 90 minutes and we did it in 66 minutes. This year the average finish time is two hours!

Once you tromp down the dirt road from the parking lot, through the pumpkin patch, and to the pay station your feet will be quite dusty.

Here are some corn mazing tips I wanted to share with you:

1. Footwear: The surface of the ground in the corn maze varies from smooth to furrowed between rows so the surface really calls for solid walking shoes or hiking boots.

2. Water: Bring some. Dixon is near Sacramento so it's warm. Very warm. So I'd recommend you go early so you can finish early before it gets too hot.

3. Sun: Wear a hat and or sunscreen.

4. Eye Protection: We went earlier this year than last year so there were a lot more leaves overhanging the path. I walked with my head tipped downward most of the way because I was the only one not wearing glasses and I didn't want to get another corneal scratch like I did the time I trimmed the tree in our backyard.

5. Pen or Pencil: Bring one for mapping your route

6. Weather: Check the weather forecast as it can get quite warm down in the maze. The corn stalks are well over your heard so you'll get some shade, a lot of sun and just a little breeze if any at all while in the maze. On the platforms you'll be refreshed by the wind if there is any.

There's more than one way to make it through the maze.

After paying you'll get a map. Rookies will simply take off and try to figure out where they are by using the map and marker stakes pushed into the ground every few rows. Our team of engineers were much more methodical charting their course ahead of time. The problem was they each charted similar but different routes. LOL

And then it was time to embark on our journey. Up a set of stairs and down into the corn field.

I thought I'd have time to take pictures like I did last year but this year a couple of the guys decided we should try to beat last year's time so they walked fast. Too fast for me. I was doing my best to keep up but it was hot (in the 90's that day) and I kept twisting my ankles as I stumbled on the uneven ground. I asked them to slow down over and over. But nobody would :(

Finally after an hour of trying to keep up I decided I didn't care if I got left behind, I was going to walk at a pace that was comfortable for me. And just like that, they were all gone. But I wasn't alone. We'd hooked up with a family at some point so I wandered along with them because at least they had a map.

If you walk at a normal pace and stop from time to time you get photos of cool things like the brace roots that grow above ground then into the ground to help the corn plants not get blown over by the wind.

And you can stop to enjoy the occasional sunflower that popped up out of nowhere.

And look! We even spotted a watermelon plant before I rejoined the rest of my group.

If you'd like to see what it's like to go through a 53 acre corn maze here's a video hubby shot by strapping a GoPro camera to his chest. I condensed an hour and 26 minutes down to 7 minutes and 32 seconds. I wish I could have made it even shorter/faster but iMovie would only let me speed it up x2000 so this was the best I could do.

Not only did hubby ditch me in the corn maze, his lack of concern for my well being made for some funny video captioning :P For best results select 720p from the "Change Quality" gear.

Skip to 5:05 to see the moment hubby realizes I'm no longer with them.

Next year? I'll go with the group but I'm not going to walk with them. I'm going to take my time, take my photos and probably walk part way in and back out the entrance because I'd rather spend an hour taking pictures instead of walking through the maze so fast I can't even enjoy being there!

Or, I want to go at night once it's dark That would make the whole thing a bigger adventure. To stay warm I want to wear a giant mouse costume just for kicks :D

If the maze is too intimidating, or you have kids you don't want to lose for hours, other activities include:

• African Grass Maze for the little ones
• Corn Bath Quicksand Pit
• Wagon Ride
• Pedal carts
• Indian Village complete with teepees
• Fully stocked refreshment stand with specialty coffee drinks, sandwiches and candy
• Pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkin (I bought a $1 pumpkin featured in the first picture of this post)

Some are free others have nominal fees (prices).

If you'd like to visit here's all you need to know:

Dixon Corn Maze - Website
6585 Milk Farm Rd
Dixon, CA 95620 - Link to Google Maps

MAZE OPENS Sept 15 - Nov 5, 2012
9am to 8pm Everyday (Weather Permitting)
Price $10.00 per person (5 years and under free)

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