Here’s a flashback to the last run of the fall for everyone’s mid-winter reading pleasure.
The autumn fogs lifted in late October, although the day remained overcast and chilly as multiple Miatas squeezed in one more road run before the sports motoring season came to an end. We gathered at the mansion of Tom Mackey & Marilyn Huckleberry out in the country near Snohomish. We are not kidding when we say mansion. They have a beautiful home with broad surrounding grounds, all of which shows the mighty effort they put into acquiring and enhancing it. Clever Halloween decorations, too, not the least of which was Count Dracula’s voice booming over the stereo to welcome visitors who dared to ring the doorbell of his castle.
Attenders included Marilyn & Tom (hosts,) Sandra & Norma, Tom & Cindy, Allan & Cheryl, Frank & Carol, Dee & Duncan, Charlotte & Melody. Some tops were down, some up. Here’s a brilliant idea: The very detailed driving directions and the corn maze map were in a clear plastic document protector so they’d stay dry if it rained. It didn’t, but we sure could have used that on some very soggy mazes in the past. The cruise route was about 42 miles starting at the hosts’ home, and actually ending just a couple of miles away, but managing to loop through or near Snohomish, Monroe, Duvall and Woodinville in general. In best PSMC fashion we covered the twistiest Roads Less Traveled, most of which were totally new to those of us from outside the area. The scenery was quite rural and the autumn foliage beautiful in a water-color sort of style, even on a gray day.
In late afternoon we emerged at Bob’s Corn & Pumpkin Farm, a gigantic farm stand and corn maze and home grown agricultural theme park. It’s on Elliott Road, not all that far from freeway 522, and the minivan crowd had found it by the millions. What a mob scene! After some initial confusion we bought our tickets, loaded our picnic supplies into tote boxes which the pack mules (actually John Deere Gators) hauled to our reserved fire pit area, and we all boarded hayride wagons to the maze entrance. The maze itself is huge, and a walk around the perimeter must cover the better part of a mile. Our group’s navigational approaches were (ahem) varied. Dee & Duncan blazed ahead in their best road rally procedure, she “driving” and spotting the route, he with head-down in the map, “navigating” and yelling instructions. They finished the first half of the maze in a mere 12 minutes, but hubris is always followed by nemesis, and their speedy performance would come back to haunt them later.
Without too much extra trouble everyone met up at our fire pit where the logs were roaring and the tiki torches blazing (rather feebly) as darkness settled. We commenced roasting hot dogs and shish-ke-babs and such, and dropping critical food ingredients into the fire from time to time, all the while slurping down side dishes and desserts and of course the great PSMC tradition of smores ‘round the campfire late into the night. Remarkable discovery: If you are a bionic person with a metal replacement knee joint, don’t sit too close to the fire. Your leg will get very hot very quickly, the Laws Of Physics being what they are. Or else wear your Nomex long johns from your racing kit.
It got dark out there in the country. Very dark. And the second assignment was to find your way back through the corn maze to the start point via a different route. At night, with only a flashlight. No lights, no signs, no string on the ground, no breadcrumbs, no nothing, and all the time assaulted by running hordes of clueless screaming children. Most Miata people had half a brain and opted to go around the outside direct to the nearby hayride pickup point. But Duncan & Dee and Charlotte & Melody decided to give the maze a go. They went like clockwork for the first couple of hundred yards into the maze. Then all navigation fell apart in giggly confusion followed by sore feet. Also there should be porta-potties at convenient locations within such a deep maze. Eventually they saw the light at the end of the tunnel (they thought) and ended up bursting into somebody else’s firepit party, to the surprised amusement of those people. (At least we hope they were amused.) “Don’t pay the ransom; we escaped!” When they started walking toward the hay wagons who should they meet but the more intelligent Miata people, just strolling home after their leisurely evening at the fire.
When you have achieved “our age group” (a bit older than teenagers) a corn maze seems to be an unsophisticated way to spend an autumn afternoon, but such runs have become a fun tradition in our club over the past few years. They always involve driving enjoyable and scenic back roads and eating heartily as well, and there’s little wrong with that package. Who’s up to host next year?