Monday, October 4, 2010

Road Trip to Sweetberry Farm

We took a road trip to Sweetberry Farm in Marble Falls, Texas (near Austin). Or according to Kevin I kidnapped him. Technically I don't think he qualifies. 1. He's not a kid. 2. I told him where we were going. 3. He got into the car willingly. It's not my fault at all that he had absolutely no idea where Marble Falls was. Or just how far away it was. :)

We stumbled across information on Sweetberry Farm one year when we were looking for corn mazes. Technically they have a hay maze. Not that I would have known because my first comment was "It looks just like corn. Without the corn, I guess." Their maze is in the shape of Texas. Though technically I think North is South, and South is North. But all you really needed to know is that the border is a really busy place. There is a lot of traffic in South Texas. :)

And it is designed like a scavenger hunt. There are various points identified in the maze for you to find. At each location there is a sign post with the landmark's name and a unique hole punch for you to punch the appropriate location on your ticket. If you find all 12 when you exit you get a free drink.

I was really looking forward to the maze. As soon as we arrived we got tickets and headed that way. We only stopped long enough to visit the porta potties (with CRICKETS!!) while the boys checked out the goats.

Not really knowing where we were going we headed off down the path where the tractor was taking people on foot. It turns out we ended up back in sight of our car in the boon docks of the parking lot before we spied the tunnel. Apparently the maze is on the other side of the road. And you take the tunnel to get there. While cars whizz by inches overhead. And children and grown men happily test out the acoustics of the tunnel.

We quickly made our way to the entrance of the maze. We took a picture of the map, just in case. And bravely headed in.

The maze was AWESOME. With the exception of a small patch somewhere in East Texas the maze was well over our heads and there were tons of short paths leading everywhere with very few dead ends.

It took us no time at all to stumble onto a group of people standing suspiciously in the middle of the path exclaiming merrily that they "found one!" It was Palo Duro Canyon. A few minutes later we found Caprock Canyons. We wandered in no particular direction, letting the boys roam.

And amazingly managed to find 8 out of the 12 landmarks. It was a blast wandering through the maze. The energy and excitement were just contagious. Periodically we would hear someone shout out "I found it!!" Or would run into people searching for that one last one that they hadn't found yet.

We decided to take a look at the map, get our bearings and at least head in the right general direction for the ones we were missing. So we pulled out our photos, zoomed in and discovered that the dark pen on red strips made for absolutely unreadable photos. So we headed back out of the maze to take a look at the originals. I borrowed a piece of paper and a pen and drew a terrible rendition of the state of Texas (reminiscent of a pictionary game I once played) and marked all of the landmarks in their relative locations. With the cheat sheet in hand we made our way back in and within a few minutes found Buried City - arguably one of the harder to find locations. Before long we had checked off two more, leaving us with just Choke Canyon. Despite my conviction that we were in the right part of the state we wandered around for a good 10 minutes unable to find it. We also ran into the same 5 or 6 sets of people multiple times looking for it as well. We divided to conquer faster as most of the paths came back together. And before too long we found it. As we were standing there another family came up and had one or two to go, but like us originally had no idea where they were in the state. I passed along my trusty map and wished them well as we made our way back out.

We proudly showed off our completed cards and sat down on the hay bales to enjoy our ice cold reward cokes as we watched newcomers eagerly head off into the maze.

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