Walk a crooked mile through North Logan's straw maze
Toby G. Hayes
NORTH LOGAN -- Mazes of corn have become popular this time of year, but entrepreneur Blaine Christensen wanted to do something a little different. So, like one of the three little pigs, he built his out of straw.
It's called the "Crooked Mile Straw Maze" and it occupies about five acres of a former hay field in North Logan. On any given night in September and October, the remainder of the field is full of cars parked on the now stubbled ground. As far as Christensen knows, he has the only straw maze in the country. But there's a reason.
It took about 90 semi-truck loads to bring the hay from Tremonton to North Logan. More than 2,000 bales of hay were used to build the maze. In fact it took about a month to haul all the hay and another two weeks to stack it, said Christensen. And it all began in early August.
"We lost count after a while," says Christensen.
The maze itself meanders for just over a mile, making the name a perfect fit. "There's more maze here than you would ever imagine," he says.
The walls are eight feet high and through all the twists and turns, the ghouls, ghosts and chainsaw-wielding creatures of the night, it takes about an hour to conquer the twisted tangle of narrow passages.
"I have a whole new appreciation for lab mice," says Melanie Sidwell. It took Sidwell and her friends one and one-half hours to make it through the maze. Stuck in the same place for 30 minutes, they had to be led out by an employee passing through on his way home.
"We can't find our own way out, the monster has to come and save us," says Sidwell.
None of the maze's ghastly ghouls are actually paid. Christensen has had people begging to volunteer.
This is the second year he's run the straw maze. Last year, while driving through his native Tremonton, he noticed a friend's field full of hay bales and the idea struck him. So last year he did a test run of the concept before bringing the hay harvest labyrinth over the mountain.
This year it's done quite well, but the corn mazes still steal the show, says Christensen.
The hay is on loan from a farmer and co-investor in the project. After it's all over when the clock strikes midnight on Halloween, the 2,000 bales will be shipped off to E.A. Miller in Hyrum. From forming a labyrinth battle to feeding cattle, the hay serves many purposes.
Despite the late nights and hard work, Christensen is already planning to do it all again next year.
"People have loved it," he says. "It's been a lot of fun."