It began innocently enough.
Robin Hood and I arrived at McCall’s Pumpkin Patch, in Moriarty, New Mexico, late Saturday afternoon. I was excited; for years I had heard McCall’s touted as THE Halloween destination for the greater Albuquerque area, but had never gone. I love a good pumpkin patch – growing up in Virginia, my family and I would go to one called Fort Pumpkin. The details are fuzzy, but I do remember blissfully playing amongst bales of hay and eating lots of locally-grown apples. I couldn’t wait to see how McCall’s measured up.
And it did not disappoint. After finding the place and parking without much trouble, we walked through the gates and found, before our eyes, a veritable theme park. We saw multiple gift shops, food vendors, a corn maze, a pumpkin cannon, lots of activities for kids including a slide that went directly through a stack of hay bales, and hay rides that took visitors out to McCall’s crown jewel: an enormous pumpkin patch where you could select your own pumpkins.
My eye was immediately caught by a fudge shop (fudge shops and I, we find each other). Robin Hood was game, but we agreed to come back to it after we got the lay of the land. We strolled around, bought gigantic tin cups of soda, and witnessed the launching of several pumpkins. Sadly, I don’t have a video, but I will say that if you ever get the opportunity to watch pumpkins getting fired out of a cannon, DO IT.
We had to hustle to catch a hay ride to the pumpkin patch, but it was worth it: we found two beauties! We lugged them back onto the ride and rolled back to the park, where we found…the fudge shop had closed for the day. Crestfallen, we paid for the pumpkins and stowed them in my car, but we didn’t have time to mope.
The sun was setting.
At night, McCall’s becomes a Haunted Farm, with its main attractions being the “Haunted Barn” (an enclosed building) and the “Field of Screams” (a scarier version of the corn maze). Robin Hood’s roommate and some friends were meeting us for those “delights” – I say “delights” because I am NOT a thrills ‘n chills kind of gal. I just kept assuring myself that it was healthy to get out of my comfort zone, and crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t wet my pants. My main consolation was that the fudge shop had re-opened for the evening. Hooray!!!
I successfully avoided wetting my pants. I did, however, cry like a little girl upon exiting the Haunted Barn. Luckily, Robin Hood gallantly talked me down from making a bee-line to my car and my box of fudge, and I was able to walk to the corn maze feeling just a little sheer terror.
And it went okay! Maybe I just needed the catharsis of the first experience, but I almost enjoyed myself walking through that corn. Or maybe the night’s early-autumn chill had numbed my nerves, or the fudge had put me in a euphoric stupor. It doesn’t matter.
Lessons learned: 1) Push yourself out of your comfort zone occasionally; it will probably turn out better than you think. 2) Fudge really does make the world a better place.