Here come the Pumpkin People, with their huge orange heads, their jagged orange smiles, their weird orange souls.
Here you go into the corn maze, with its dark and muddy mysteries, its confusing zigs and zags, its reversals and dead ends. Pay no attention to those cobwebby skulls and bones lying all over the ground.
Bwa ha ha ha! (Thunder and lightning here.)
OK, it’s not really so terrifying. It’s Halloween season in Clark County. Numerous agricultural operations are eager to welcome you to their fields full of pumpkins and corridors of corn.
“Nothing scary or gory, just good, clean, fall fun,” said marketing coordinator Maura Todd of Pomeroy Living History Farm in Yacolt. That’s the planet of the Pumpkin People, who live on Pumpkin Lane. There are more than 100 of them, and you’ll see just how diverse and busy they are if you go take the hayride down their mile-long street.
“They change every year,” Todd said. “We have a lot of the same characters … but we try to mix it up with the scenes.” In years past, those characters have included larger-than-life figures like superheroes, cartoon characters, movie stars and the couple from “American Gothic” — not to mention just-plain-pumpkin-people like farmers, ranchers, bakers, loggers, cowboys and cows. There’s even been a “country bumpkin” pumpkin who bangs on bongos by way of welcoming visitors down Pomeroy’s driveway.
Clark County Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes
• Where: 9504 N.E. 119th St., Vancouver.
• Open in October: 2 to 5:30 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
• Nighttime corn maze: 6 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (bring a flashlight).
• Admission includes: Pumpkin patch and corn maze, bale pyramid and hay maze, farm animals and a “calf roping” (hay bale) station, wagon rides, two shots on the Pumpkin Launcher and one free pumpkin from the patch.
• Cost: $10; seniors 62 and older, $8; free for age 2 and younger; $5 for the nighttime corn maze only.
• Contact: 360-574-9119. bizifarms.com
JOE’S PLACE FARMS
• Where: 701 N.E. 112th Ave., Vancouver.
• Open in October: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
• Featuring: Pumpkin patch with 35 pumpkin varieties, cornstalk teepee, hayrides, fort maze and corn maze, face painting, farm treats like cider and fudge, on-site restaurant.
• Cost: Free admission, free 2-acre corn maze; $2 for fort maze, $2 for hayride.
• Contact: 360-892-3974. joesplacefarms.com
• Where: 20902 N.E. Lucia Falls Road, Yacolt.
• Open in October: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays.
• Admission includes: Mile-long hayride down Pumpkin Lane, with its Pumpkin People, on the way to the patch. Pumpkin flume, hay bale maze, historical tours, farm animals.
• Cost: $6; $4 for ages 3-11. Pumpkin prices vary.
• Contact: 360-686-3537. http://pomeroyfarm.org
VELVET ACRES GARDENS (“VANCOUVER PUMPKIN PATCH”)
• Where: 18905 N.E. 83rd St., Vancouver.
• Open in October: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
• Admission includes: Hay rides to the pumpkin patch every Wednesday afternoon and all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday; pick a perfect pumpkin, visit the covered petting zoo and in-barn hay tunnel-maze.
• Cost: Free admission; $6 for hay ride, one pumpkin, children’s activities.
• Contact: 360-892-0434. www.vancouverpumpkinpatch.com
• Where: 1617 N.E. 267th Ave., Camas.
• Featuring: Unlimited rides around the farm on the barrel train, farm animals, corn maze, one pumpkin from the patch. Hay rides on weekends only.
• Open in October: 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
• Admission: $10.
• Contact: 360-834-2810. waltonsfarms.com
The Pumpkin Lane hayride isn’t just a tour of that street. It also stops at the pumpkin patch, where you can pick out your perfect pumpkin — for an extra fee, with prices starting at $1. But there’s no additional fee for all the other activities for children: hay bale maze, pumpkin flume game, other yard games, barn animals and fun photo opportunities.
Pumpkin Lane is the seasonal offering on October weekends, but as its name implies, Pomeroy Living History Farm is about a lot more than that. The nonprofit place’s mission is to interpret “pre-electric” life in the Lucia Valley. The historic log house will be open for tours when Pumpkin Lane is.
The Farm Café will be selling hot dogs and snacks, baked potatoes, beverages and, of course, pumpkin pie.
And, grown-ups: the Pomeroy Cellars winery and tasting room is also open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. A little nip might help you face down the Pumpkin People.