Monday, October 26, 2009

Children of the Corn (now with 100% fewer murders!)

Since it is the season of fall and corn and all things autumnal here in Oklahoma, Noel and I decided to take a little road trip out of Wagoner to see a local tradition:

A corn maze. Called a corn maize here, ha ha, play on words.

It was so cute - just a small area surrounded by local farms, and set up with a hay jump, a hayride, fire pits, goats to pet, and, for those who love the beach but hate the sand, a corn box. Yes, a large box filled with dried corn, in which children can frolic and get corn down their pants. The toddler set was all over it.

We had come though, to try our hand at the maze. I've seen these things on tv and they look kinda fun. Thankfully we opted for the non-haunted maze though (that one's only after dark and Noel and I both shock easily and unpleasantly).

(Also, I got to bundle up a bit! Yay! Although by the time we were done the sweater was tied around my waist and the hat and arm warmers were off. It was nice while it lasted though.)

There were moments of absolute terror, when we thought we'd never get out:

This is Noel, realizing that (1) he's lost, and (2) he forgot his flare gun to signal the National Guard to come rescue us.

Thankfully we made it safe and sound, and walked around the other booths. We talked to the mother of the owner of the maze, and she provided us with some interesting info! First, we thought it was cool that she & her husband live in South Dakota, but move down here for 2 months every year to help their son run the maze. They park their 5th wheel right on the property and have a little working vacation.

Secondly, we found out how this whole thing works. Noel and I had discussed on the drive there, that it seemed a tremendous waste to mow down part of your crop for a maze. Why do this? Is the corn bad? Is the crop undesirable or something, so they decide to make a maze out of it and try to salvage some profit that way?

No, actually. This was started by a maze company that travels the U.S. and finds good spots to put mazes up. They purchase or rent land for said maze, and the corn that's planted here is planted WAY after corn is normally planted - this one was planted in June. The paths are carved out very early on, and the corn they use is a special type of corn that doesn't actually produce very many ears. It's specifically Maze Maize, you could say. This lady's son now owns the property and runs it as a maze each year, and each year the design is different. We were amazed (ha - get it, aMAZEd?) when we saw what the actual design is:

You can't tell what the design is from the ground, so they have aerial shots taken each year. Cool, huh?

After our wanderings in the corn, we decided to go for a drive up north and east, and saw some really gorgeous scenery. As we drove, we passed over a dam. (Rachel, you'll love this - it's in a town called Disney).

The dam has a pretty lake on one side and a dried up rock bed valley on the other. Very scenic!

And, Oklahomans being the natural outdoorsy type (please see Bass Pro Shop photos), we saw some in their natural habitat.
Doing this:

Now if you're having a hard time figuring out what's going on in that picture, these are souped up Jeeps that people take on impossible treks through rocks and water and hills and mud and such. The yellow one has already gotten up this crevass, and the blue one is currently in the process of making it up. We watched for at least 20 minutes as these guys (and one or two others) tried and succeeded to actually get this Jeep up this rock. It looked a few times like they'd flip (and sometimes they do) but these guys didn't. Impressive. And also insane.

But lest you think this was a random occurrence, oh no. When we drove through the tiny town of Disney, we saw this:

Apparently this is an annual event here, called Rocktober, and anyone with any type of ridiculous looking 4x4 was there, talking about shocks and axles and whatnot. Incredible, how much money people spend on these things!

(And yes, I do see the irony of my investments in yarn).

(Also, yes, Noel thought this was so super cool I finally had to practically drag him back to the truck, which he then was mentally fitting out with monster tires.)

On a random side note, a huge number of people here have flatbed trucks. I guess it makes it easier to haul hay and...whatever things cowboys haul. Saddles? 10 gallon hats? Anyway, we've seen these things all over the place. Noel wants one of those too. So anyone with a flatbed truck they'd like to donate, let us know. (Monster tires optional.)

After our exciting drive through Disney, we thought the next day we'd try for some more interesting sightseeing. We decided to take a scenic drive and ended up going into 3 other states (Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas). (YES, ON PURPOSE.) I am known for getting lost into the wrong state (I once drove into Alabama by mistake, and also Tennessee and Oregon, but all on separate trips, thank you very much).

We went north from Oklahoma and crossed the Kansas border, took a right and went into Missouri, and then headed toward Arkansas, where we turned back into Oklahoma. Neat that we could do that all in an afternoon! Too bad we can't put those stickers on the RV (that's cheating!).

On the way, we made a little side trip in order to see:

Cool, huh? And they have a Tyson plant there, so the fried chicken is plentiful, I would imagine. Noel didn't want to get out to have his picture taken with the sign (chicken - HA). But at least we got the sign.

Unfortunately a lot of our travels are coming to an end here in Oklahoma, since Noel actually had to start working. Bummer. But we did get to see a lot already, and I'm sure there's plenty more to come!

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