"One must dare if one really wants to live." -Vincent Van Gogh
Last October, I took a friend up on a dare.
"I don't like fall and I don't like pumpkin farms," I bah-humbugged.
"You should try Gordon Skagit. I think you'd really like it," she encouraged.
"No, really, I don't like pumpkin farms," I begged off.
"Just go." She was adamant.
So I did. And you know what?
She was right.
* * * * *
This fall, along with my second- and fourth-born daughters, I went back to Gordon Skagit Farm.
And you know what?
I adored it just as much as I did last year.
^Right from the get-go, colors explode out of the courtyard and greet me as I walk in.
^The cloud-filled sky, weathered buildings, and light sheen of fresh rain all do their neutral best to spotlight the main attractions: pumpkins and flowers.
^ I am obsessed by the oblong, chunky pumpkins tucked into the geometric haven of boxes.
^The pay station has been redesigned and Covid-proofed for this year's transactions. Safely socially distant and still crazy cute.
^The theme at the farm is round things in warm colors. Even the trees cooperate.
^Pumpkins heaped in a pile are not so much my jam.
But pumpkins sorted by type, color and size, then placed in tidy rows make my heart sing. Throw in a few wooden baskets in their own geometric placement and I'm ready to turn some cartwheels.
^Dried flowers do a strong side business; their delicate shapes and relatively gentle colors create a nice contrast to the brash and outspoken pumpkins. Even the bright blue models.
^I keep losing track of my daughters as I stop and stare, gaping up at scenes like this one. The rain drops gently fall on my face, and I barely notice.
^It's a scientific fact that a few strings of lights exponentially increase the cuteness of an outdoor scene. Especially on a rainy day.
^White pumpkins are an elegant study in form. I love them.
^This was one of my favorite spots on the farm, and I stood here for a long time, just breathing in every detail of the scene. Those plywood packing crates fascinate me.
^A few steps further back broadens my perspective in some charming ways - oh, that one orange pumpkin on the bottom of the round table is such a gem - but also puts me out in the rain again.
^A classic old-school silo smiles benevolently down on the farm. Bet he's been watching over this place since long before the city folks came to breathe in the rarefied country air, and I'm glad he's still here.
^Beyond the market area lies the open pumpkin fields, and while we didn't explore them, I like just knowing that they're there. No doubt full of mud.
^Around every corner waits another eye-popping color-filled dreamy fall scene. It's mind-boggling and breath-taking, and I drink in each one as if I'm dying of thirst.
^There's something about the tiny window and the garlands of ivy decorating this massive barn wall that fascinate me. I wish I could recreate this in my backyard.
^Raindrops collect on top of the pumpkins and on some, fill in the creases with tiny swimming pools.
^The gravel drive, overhanging cedar branches, and old red truck fill in the foreground and background of yet another geometric pumpkin display, and my heart eyes are falling out of my face.
^Did I mention that they sell food too?
Overcome by the visual gorguosity of the farm, I leave all purchasing decisions to my daughters. They pull together a selection of pastel pumpkins for my front porch, and a handful of farm fresh produce for our table.
I leave, sated and satisfied for now. I'm sure we'll be back for more before the pumpkin season ends.
^ And no one will have to dare me to make the return trip.
* * * * *
If this story doesn't convince you to visit Gordon Skagit Farm, then I suggest you keep reading: