When my son, Ricky, told me about his adventure with his wife, Kate, in the world’s largest corn maze, I thought it would make a great blog post, especially for Halloween. We have corn mazes in Texas, but this one seems to have taken mazes to a whole different level. In honor of Halloween, I’m calling the following … Ricky’s “blob post.”
My wife, Kate, and I have been living out in the modest city of Dixon, California, for the past four years, largely due to its proximity to Travis Air Force Base, where I’m stationed, and where Kate works in Sacramento. The quiet, triangle-shaped city’s main claim-to-fame is the Dixon May Fair, held every year in, you guessed it, the month of May. Boasted as the longest-running fair in all of California, you can find fried anything, midway games, and celebrity acts ranging from Snoop Dog to Larry the Cable Guy–what a variety right? Sadly, even though the May Fair is a 20-minute walk from our door step, Kate and I have never made the trek to the famous fair; it seems we’re always spending time in Napa that time of year!
Aside from the annual May Fair, did you know Dixon hosts the Guinness Book of World Records largest corn maze? Who knew tiny Dixon, also known as “Sheep Town” or “Lamb Town,” had so many quirks? Well it took us three-and-one-half years, but recently we made the five-minute drive over to Cool Patch Pumpkins to conquer the maize maze. After parking, quite appropriately, in a field, we wandered on up to buy our tickets. At $12 per person, we thought the price was steep for a simple corn maze, but we quickly found our jaws dropping in disbelief after looking at the map of the maze!
“Please allow two hours to complete the Corn Maze,” said a posted sign. Probably meant to be a cautionary note, we took it as a challenge and glided to the maze entrance. The labyrinth of corn has you doing loops, following corridors in a large grid, and scratching your head at quadruple forks-in-the-road going in all directions. The map is absolutely necessary to keep you on track, because some of the fake paths are extensive. An alpha-numeric grid helps you match your position on the map with various markers along the maze paths, just in case you’re completely stumped, but watch out for pranksters that have moved the markers around the maze!
As we trekked through the corn rows, our strategies to tackle the maze evolved and refined. We began considering drawing a complete start-to-finish line on our map, then highlighting our position as we went—this proved difficult without writing utensils! Another consideration was using Google Maps on our phone, but, alas, no cell service! About a third of the way through, we started trailing a couple that looked confident in their route, which got us another third of the way through the maze before they took a wrong turn and got us lost as well! Finally, Kate surrendered, gave me the map, and I used my internal compass and sense of direction to calculate our path. Despite these obstacles, we finished in just under one hour! Not the case with everyone where every weekend someone calls 911 hopelessly lost in the corn maze. In case you were wondering, there is no cheese at the end of the maze, but we did take a celebratory photo, high-fived, and headed to nearby Woodland, California for Mexican food and margaritas, which, honestly, should be at the end of every maze.
So while you may not jump to book your next vacation in Dixon, California, remember the world record-setting corn maze at Cool Patch Pumpkins for your next visit out to Northern California. You may just need to walk off some of that wine and cheese from nearby Napa Valley!