The Pumpkin Patch

Dear Liza,

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In the Corn Maze !                                                                     Photo Credit, Bridgett Spicer

On Sunday, we returned to Sauvie Island, just north of Portland. It was a chilly, rainy day, and as we drove over grey bridges and couldn’t even make out the dark Willamette below us, we had some second thoughts. We had boots and coats, and Auntie Bridgett even had her trusty umbrella…but going to a farm in the rain?

“At least it won’t be crowded on a day like this,” I thought. Obviously, I have a lot to learn about Portlanders. Every pumpkin farm on the island was busy, and The Pumpkin Patch’s huge gravel overflow parking lot was almost full. We were lucky to find a spot.

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View from a very wet bridge

There was mud anyplace there wasn’t gravel, and we picked our way carefully to the main area. From the middle of the yard, we could see the food stalls, the Animal Barn with critters to pet, the Pumpkin Perk coffee trailer, the gift shop, and the line for Hay Rides. We ate  (corn on the cob, a turkey sandwich and kettle corn), then felt ready to tackle the Corn Maze.

Corn Mazes can be pretty hit and miss, but this one was really well done. There were clues in the form of trivia questions (you got to choose your area of expertise….we chose Movies, Halloween, and Corn), and when you got to certain intersections, the trivia answers gave you directions.

There were also delightfully “corny” cartoons that were puns… it was fun to watch kids stare blankly while their parents cracked up! It rained quite a bit while we were in the maze, and the sound of the rain on the corn was magical to my country girl DNA.

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Horse Play!

The corn was still green and full, making it nearly impossible to see from one path to the next, and the stalks were about eleven feet high and still had fat green corn! There were bridges, too, not to go over anything, but to let us see the bridge from above. From up there, it was just a vast sea of corn silks and green, with not a clue of how to get out.

We did a good deal of backtracking and walking in circles, but with intuition, listening for traffic noise, and splitting up long enough to check out ‘loops’, we got through.

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Success!

We were sure tired, and no wonder. Auntie Bridgett’s fitness watch said we walked nearly 2 and a quarter miles! Our final duty was to buy some pumpkins…one for carving and looking at, and one for baking.  Done!

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Yep, warts and all….

We got home and I got dinner started while we got off our feet. Tonight, we watch “The Mummy” with Boris Karloff. Ooooooo…

Love, Grandma Judy

Sauvie Island

Dear Liza,

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The Tiny Sauvie Island Bridge

Sunday, we went to the farm. Several farms, in fact, and all just about 25 minutes north of Downtown Portland. We went to Sauvie Island!

This island is where the Willamette River meets the Columbia, and at 26,000 acres is one of the largest river islands in the country. It is almost all farmland, flat, green, and beautiful. We drove up highway 30 and crossed the tiny Sauvie Island Bridge over the Willamette Channel, which is only about 20 feet wide, and there we were.

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No Partridge, just pears

First we stopped at a lavender farm. It was small, and the season was just over, but it was sure nice to walk around and see the flowers, as well as pear trees on the property.

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We got hungry and stopped at Kruger’s BBQ for lunch. Friendly people, pulled pork, salmon sandwiches and corn on the cob put us right. Bridgett was in heaven, walking around in the incredible sunflowers, zinnias and chickens. She likes to talk to chickens, but these were busy and didn’t talk back to her.

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Tall Yellow Joy!

Further along, Grandpa Nelson must have read my mind, because he found Columbia Farms where we got to pick our own blueberries. My farming genes must have wanted to get out and stretch, because it sure felt good to be out in a sunny field, picking the food I was going to eat. It only took about 20 minutes to get our flat full. We grabbed a couple ears of fresh corn for dinner and headed off. We drove the rest of the way around the island and headed back into town.

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Happy Berry Pickin’ People!

On the way, Auntie Bridgett realized we needed a few things from the market, so we stopped the New Seasons in the northeast part of town. We found some new things and had a sort of food adventure. By the time we had shopped, we were done in.

 

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Just waiting there..

 

Love,

Grandma Judy

 

 

 

 

 

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