I’m horrible about updating my blog…

We once again went to the Mitchellville Corn Maze and as usual we had a great time. This year’s weather was exceptional, and although the corn crop isn’t considered the best much of the maze was over 11′ tall. The maze seemed a lot shorter this year, but was still great fun. I think the perception of it being shorter was caused by the much nicer weather.

Last year I made mention that I wanted to try a UV light to easily identify the chads from punches made at the various stations in the maze. I did try that this year, but it turned out to be a waste of time. Any UV light powerful enough to make them noticeable at a distance would be, imo, too dangerous to use without eye protection.

We went hardware lite this year, mostly using Quark “warm” LED lights from 4Sevens.com. Warm LEDs are still difficult to find, but 4Sevens does limited production runs of his lights with them from time to time. They really make the corn maze jump to life. Typical LED lights are heavily weighted towards the blue end of the spectrum and there is not much blue in a corn maze, or in nature in general. The yellow-weighted Warm LEDs really make the browns and reds pop and provide what I feel is a much more pleasing rendition of nature.

I recently traded my 2 GPSMap 60cs’ for Garmin’s latest GPSMap 62s model. I skipped the interm 60CSx model due to lack of useful new features but that was certainly fixed with the 62.

The 62 brings some great things to the table, map layering, multiple map support, aerial imagery and of course, improved accuracy. Unfortunately it also brings with it several 1.0ish build quality issues. It makes horrible creaking noises when you grasp it as the sides “cave” inward under the slightest pressure, and my power button is unreliable due to what I believe is the same flex issue. This is the first Garmin anything I have ever owned that disappoints me in the build quality. It’s my plan to return it to Garmin for repair in the next couple months; Garmin’s service has never disappointed me, so lets hope that continues to be the case. Electronically the 62s works great and it’s software is an upgrade to the 60cs in every way. It made a great drawing of the maze for us. Next year we’ve decided to mark way points for each located punch.

Garmin MapSource’s new exporting features support Google Earth for that added visual WOW factor. I have to admit the track log looks pretty nice superimposed on Google’s satellite imagery.

As you can see from the tracklog, it is much less of a Maze and much more of a scavenger hunt. One of the reasons we go only after dark is to make it more fun on both counts. We missed 2 punches this year, and after spending some time searching eventually went and looked up their locations. We had walked past both of them and just missed seeing them. We’d still like to try a larger maze, but even this one took us two sessions to finish due to our desire to only do it after dark. The walking distance was about 8 miles over the two evenings we spent there.