It happened again. No, not that. My coworker that lives in the "western suburbs" (aka, rural) of the Twin Cities texted me late at night. Ok, so it was the afternoon. In any case, he wanted to know if I was up for a surprise outing in his neck of the woods. At this point, there's almost nothing he can suggest that I won't do, so it didn't take much convincing for me to accept the invitation. I would meet them around 1pm on Sunday afternoon. I should dress to be outdoors and maybe not in the best clothes I own (aka, no tuxedo).
So, I did as I was told. I met them at their house and we took a relatively short drive from Delano, MN to Litchfield, MN (Google it, I dare you). We arrived at the Nelson Family Farm and were directed to find a parking spot...
Once we paid our $8 adults fee for entry, the world of fall fun opened up. We could do any number of activities... trebouchet spectating, rides, pet animals, corn maze, pumpkin shopping, almost a you-call-it of autumn fun. And we did almost all of it...
|Rural "Energy Bar"? Yes|
The "punkin' chunkin" was particularly dramatic, especially for a city boy like me. A large 16lb pumpkin wound up smacking right into a large tree - whammy! It had no chance.
Though I did take a hard look at the "Farm Hideout", I opted not to do this, this time... I'm already regretting it.
In one hole and out the other in total darkenss. Not for the faint of heart. Hopefully no kids are stuck in there either. Next year...
I did say yes to all this though...
|Telephone pole balance beams? Yes|
|"Maze practice"? Yes|
|Snowless Tobaggan Ride? Yes.|
|Crazy, herky-jerky tractor ride? Yes... each car had a double hinge that made normal forward movement almost impossible, and more fun|
|That rear cars are the most fun, duh!|
|Animal petting? Maybe. You could pet til your heart's cow-tent|
|Jump into an old silo, just for fun|
|And another pitch-black maze thing... no thanks on this one ever|
|Can you see me? I'm only two rows in on the maze trail|
During much of the 2-3 hour adventure, I was surprised I'd seen no child get hurt on many many opportunities in this veritable rural obstacle course. Sure enough, I just had to wait until the last thing to see it. While I waited for my turn in the combine, we watched, in slow motion, a mother carry her 3-4 year old daughter out of the combine cab. With one hand on the ladder and one hand on the child she made it about one step down before she turned 180 degrees the wrong way on the ladder and dropped her daughter about five feet to the hard-scrabble farm earth below. The daughter hit with a limp thud and then began the tears (which I could not have held back myself if I were in her shoes). Before we could rush to help the young girl, her mom had made it all the way down the ladder and picked her up. Of course, we saw all of them on the way out a few minutes later and the little kid was already back to her normal self. Phew, a corn-miracle.
If I'm ever in the 'hood again, I'd do this in a heartbeat. Highly recommended.