Sunday, October 4, 2015

Yesterday friend, Garnet Smith, and I decided to go kayaking again.  She arrived around 10:00 and we took off for the Southgate Marina.  As we were putting in, a fishing boat with a couple told us that it was pretty rough out on the water and to be careful.  We tooled out past the boat ramps and sure enough we started getting some wave action.  The wind had really picked up and we were too busy chatting to notice.  We stayed out about ten minutes and we decided to go back to the marina.

Well gosh, we had planned to have another adventure.  What were we to do?  We loaded up the kayaks and hopped into her truck.  I had forgotten that her driver’s side window didn’t work.  She rolled down mine and when I went to roll it up at the gas station it quit working too.  Garnet loves it that I broke her window and now have to repair it.  Right!

I asked if she had been to that forest preserve near Winnebago and she hadn’t.  We got gas and took off some of the extra clothing we had worn and took off on our unknowing adventure.

I kept my eye out for the sign for the forest preserve but didn’t see one.  We took Route 2 south and drove west from there.  I laughed and said we must look pretty funny driving around where there is not much water with two kayaks in the back of the truck.  We came to a crossroads and I saw the sign I had been looking for.  It said “Severson Dells Forest Preserve”.  We had found it!

Garnet drove right past the sign.  It was the first turn around for us that day.  There would be two more.

We turned around and  while driving through the preserve Garnet realized that she had been here before and had hiked the trails.  We just drove through and didn’t stop.  I guess neither one of us was up to hiking.

Talking on the way we both admitted that we would like to go through a corn maze.  We decided to drive to Edward’s Apple Orchard and walk through theirs.

While driving back I noticed that we passed Montague Road and told Garnet that we were going the wrong way.  She didn’t think so.  I told her we had gone south, then west, then north and now we were going west again.  She told me not to get distressed that she knew where she was going.  Then out of the blue she turns south.  I’m like going nuts because I ABSOLUTELY know that we are not going in the right direction.

About that time we pass a sign that says, “Corn Maze”.  I burst with laughter and tell Garnet that it was like fate that brought us to this corn maze.  We made our second turn around and head back to the corn maze sign.  We turn to the east this time.

I had remembered reading about this corn maze years ago.  I always wanted to go through it.  It is close to Byron, IL where the nuclear power plant is located.  I hate Byron, Il. Because I hate nuclear power.  (Where are we going to put all this waste and protect the Earth?  No where, assholes!)

Back to the corn maze.  We drive this road and see no sign for the corn maze.  We did see a bunch of Baptists in a cornfield that is the future home of their church.  We drive on and come to Byron, Il which I hate by the way.  We turn into a gas station and we go in and ask where the corn maze is.  The lady behind the counter isn’t sure and asked the customer behind us if he knows where the corn maze is.  Sure enough it was the Baptists.
Driving back to the corn maze, Garnet is singing “what a friend we have in Jesus.”  She swears that if it is the Baptists’ place she is not going in.  “They will trap us in there and try to convert us,” she declares.
I reply, “Just say no.”
We come upon the Baptists and Garnet drives right past.  I tell her it is our fate that we go through this corn maze and then I start singing corn maze to the tune of rag mop.  She reminds me that I broke her window and I wonder if that was fate also.
She drives a little further and turns around for the third time that day.  I am amazed that she turns around front of car first.  I always turn around back of car first. I back in and then pull out.

Back we go to the Baptist corn maze.  She drives past it again and pulls into the road that is right beyond.  I’m laughing saying we should drag the kayaks over and tell them we want to go through the corn maze with them.  She says she hopes the Baptist don’t steal the kayaks while we are in the corn maze.

We meet this really nice guy who is a Baptist and he tells us that they have walkie talkies and if we get lost they will come get us.  He didn’t offer us a walkie talkie.  He pointed to the tree line and said if we get disoriented to look for the tree line.  There was also one of those alert sirens sticking up to help us orient.  It is probably for when that nuclear power plant shuts down.  I’m kind of looking forward to growing another head or arm.  I could actually use another arm.

Our Baptist friend gave us a form and a pencil.  There are clues all around the corn maze and if we can answer three out of five we will get a free apple cider or hot chocolate.  The subject is superheroes so we are out of the running because neither of us are fans.  We are our own superheroes.  She for beating cancer twice and me, because I am retired.

We enter the maze and are amazed.  The sound is so very nice.  The wind that we hadn’t noticed this morning is blowing the corn and it is like a symphony.  A corn symphony.  I start singing, “Baby I’m Amazed.”  Garnet is still having a friend in Jesus.

We came to the first “Y” in the road and I had to recite Two Roads Diverged and I blah, blah, blah.  I figured it was called the right for a reason.  I took the lead and every time I stopped and turned to talk to Garnet she was right behind me with her head down and almost ran into me.  There were a lot of really unique stones on the ground and we commented on them.  At the next “Y” junction I told Garnet to decide and she took the lead.  At that point I decided to mark the paths that we trod.  I took one of those lovely rocks and put it at the “Y”.

I caught up with Garnet and told her wouldn’t she just crap if she turned around and I wasn’t there.  She’d been scared, I know she would.  We made a couple more turns and I marked each path with a stone or an “X” of cornstalks.  Wind will probably blow them away.

Garnet said she had found something and I eagerly followed her to whatever she had discovered.  It was the first clue sheet.  I had been looking for paper hanging out in the corn or under the rocks and there was this podium with a typed message and Plexiglas to keep it from getting wet.

The subject was Superman and I rocked the clues.  I had been such a Superman fan my whole entire life.  Christopher Reeve’s picture is on my bulletin board still to this day.  Where did Perry White work?  Check.  What city was it in?  Check.  Garnet was amazed to see what I knew about Superman.  I’m not sure I got his real name correct.  I sometimes confused it with his father’s.  I just checked and I got it right.  Kal-el.

We managed to find three of the five stations of clues.  We didn’t do very well with them and I realized that I had put my Superman answers on the wrong number site.  Oh well, no cider for us.

After singing “Valderie, valderah” for a while we decided we had enough of the corn maze.  I sighted the trees and we made our way back from which we had come and came out the entrance.  Ta da!

Our friendly Baptists welcomed us back to the real world.  We had found a set of keys out in the corn maze and gave them to the Baptists.  Garnet said she could have had a new car today but for my big mouth.  And the windows would work.
The Baptist gentleman explained how he created the maze and even gave us a map.  He got a chuckle out of the fact that we came out through the entrance.  He didn’t seem to appreciate my navigational skill.

We ended our day in Pecatonica where we had a snack at the little basement restaurant in town.  We had taken the kayaks for a joy ride.  Just two girls, two kayaks and two broken windows.

And when she got to my house she didn’t pull into the driveway.  She said she didn’t want to back out and hit something with the kayaks in the truck.  I had forgotten about them.  That is why she turned around frontwards – to protect the kayaks.  Awww!


  1. This reminds me of some of the adventures that we used to go on in our younger days. Do you remember chasing a balloon into Dayton to see where it would land? It seems like we ended up at the movies watching Citizen Kane & The Magnificent Ambersons. I remember going to the old drive-in in Miamisburg (can not remember it's name for the life of me) and watching Night of the Living Dead & driving all the way back to New Lebanon scared to death. You introduced me to Woody's on a late night run when we were room-mates in college. Glad to see that you still have that sense of adventure. To me, that is what life should be - a continuous adventure!

  2. We did have some adventures, didn't we? Woody's is gone. So very sad. In Rockford we have Valli Produce and Woodman's. Super duper stores. And one is employee owned.

  3. I'm still racking my brain to remember the drive in. It was on old 25 heading into Miamisburg on the left, wasn't it? Close to the river? The ladies that worked in Woodys started a bakery after it closed & now it is where the old Woodys used to be.