As the fall foliage thickened and the street signs switched names for county road numbers, I was clued in I was closer to my country destination: Guffey Acres. I pulled up to the gate, gently locked by a loose chain and texted Jessica Guffey, co-owner of Guffey Acres, that I was in the driveway. Moments later, a four-wheeler with a driver sporting a smile almost hidden under a baseball cap pulled up with Guffey Acres’ barrel train tailing behind — literally tailing since all the barrels are designed to look like different animals.
“Do you want to walk to the corn maze or hop in?” Jessica happily inquired.
“I’ll hop in.” I wasn’t passing up an opportunity to hop in a horse made from a barrel. (Note for those with dentures — thankfully I don’t have such a problem — put some extra paste on those puppies, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.) The ride was super fun. It takes passengers through the endless activities at Guffey Acres including corn hole, the giant corn popper and pumpkin tether ball, all outlined with cornfields.
After pulling up to the corn maze that looked like 7 acres of confusion, 9-year-old Titus Guffey was on hand to help out in my corn maze journey.
I labored over which maze to choose. Phase 1 takes an average of 20 minutes, Phase 2 takes an average of 45 minutes and both phases could take, well, awhile.
When you arrive at the corn maze, you’re greeted by a mailbox that includes a map. I can’t read a map so it’s basically like handing me a napkin. I cringed a little when I saw that paper woven with directions and twists and turns, knowing I had 7 acres of corn to maneuver through.
Jessica gave me a heads up.
“As long as you can read a map and have good navigational skills, you’ll be fine.”
Great, I have neither. I’ve started many-a-phone conversation with, “Hey, I’m lost” in varying tones of desperation. So I was feeling less than confident about this corn maze. At this point, it made the best sense to just charge forward.
Plus, a child of the corn was close behind. Titus Guffey came on the adventure equipped with a stick and even better stories. The 9-year-old lives at Guffey Acres with his parents and older brother, Isaac. Their backyard is unspeakably the best.
“If you wing it, you could be in here a while. There were some teens who did that. They were in here for 45 minutes,” Titus told me.
“Yeah, I got a cellphone call from them and they were stuck in one of the sections. We had a corn cop go get them and help them out,” Jessica added.
A corn cop, in case you were curious, is someone who monitors the mazes in cool camouflaged chairs and helps those painfully lost find their way back to the exit before they find their way to insanity. I saw a lot of interesting loops that would make even the most sensible mind feel like sanity was escaping them, and I was there during the day.
Jessica and Titus let me lead the way. I felt sorry for them, but somehow, in the midst of my lefts and rights, I guided us back to the exit in 13 minutes.
“You’re really good at navigating,” Jessica said.
I laughed out loud. My fiancé replied to my text about my navigational skills being complimented with, “LOL.”
“Well, you’re good at navigating in a cornfield,” she added with a laugh.
Maybe, thanks to my summers at my Pap’s where playing in the cornfield was a daily adventure.
Bottom line: Kids or adults, whether your mind is a compass or your “Point A to Point B” ends up including about seven other points, go explore one of Kokomo’s corn mazes. Navigational skills are not required.
[friday] editor/ Corn maze navigator