Hay Maze Haze

Yesterday we set out on our annual October pumpkin patch expedition.  Over my weekend in Santa Fe, which I’ll write more about later, I gathered a few recommendations from some trusted resources.

We decided to stop in Davenport for breakfast.  I have been a lifelong devotee of the former Davenport Cash Store, now Davenport Roadhouse.  Despite the upgrade in decor (I do sometimes miss the old Dia-de-Los-Muertos-Chic), the service has plummeted.  After losing my reservation a month or two ago and blaming me, I vowed to give Whale City a try.

So we set-off to Whale City and land a table right away.  Unfortunately, in the words of Grandma, the coffee was swill.  We might have waited for our breakfast for over an hour… I lost track of time, became disoriented with hunger, handed my cell phone to Nate and laid my head down on the table.  Looks like we’re destined to pack picnics to Davenport… from my tried and true Kelly’s Bakery.  You’ve never let me down, Kell.  But maybe you could change up the menu, just a little, for us regulars?

Then we continue on our journey to a new pumpkin patch recommendation.  We cruise by our old standby, Rodoni Farms, with it’s beautiful acre of multicolored pumpkin options, convenient parking, and crowd-free location.  We continue north to “that gorilla patch.”  We’re not sure how far it is, but we’ve seen it from the road with it’s big signs and blow-up gorilla.  It comes highly recommended.  We drive and drive.  I realize we are getting disturbingly close to Half Moon Bay.  I have previously vowed never to visit Half Moon Bay again in October.  It appears I do a lot of vowing… There it is: Arata’s Farm.

More like Arata’s Zoo.  We park about a half mile out and walk in.  It’s at least 90 degrees.  There is no shade.  We buy tickets to the hay maze— that’s what we came for.  I have a secret love of mazes, but I’m partial to corn.

We enter the maze, past the large steel Minotaur.  It’s fun.  We wind and weave and race down tunnels like little white mice.  But then, then we realize it’s about 105 in the hay maze.  Groups of disoriented, dehydrated people start following us.  I start following a dark haired three-year-old in a black shirt that is covered in dust.  His hair is strewn with hay.  He may have been lost in here for hours.  Another lady looks desperate as she hauls a sleeping toddler down trails and trails of dead-ends.

Nate gives up.  He can’t walk anymore.  Dad puts him on his shoulders but this does nothing for our ability to escape.  We see people standing on a large metal viewing platform.  Scientists?  Saviors?  Medics?  I ask a man who appears to be 6’4″ what he sees over the top of the bales.  He’s useless.  We move on.

Jake says to me, shrugging his shoulders, “Mom.  Some people make it and some people don’t.”

“What happens to the people who don’t?”  I ask, fearing the answer.

“They get dead,” he replies, matter-of-factly.

This is not how I want to die…


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