Smashing pumpkins in the Great Northwest

DIY cannons, catapults and slingshots abound in Portland, Ore.

The cannon

The trebuchet Mike Yamamoto/CNET Networks
The targets

PORTLAND, Ore.--Not all do-it-yourselfers were at the Maker Faire in Austin, Texas, this last week. About 2,000 miles away in the Pacific Northwest, a few makers were staying put to celebrate the autumnal festivities as only they can do--by flinging, shooting and catapulting pumpkins out of their homemade inventions.

At the Plumper Pumpkin Patch on Old Cornelius Road Pass, children observe the usual rites of fall with corn mazes, hay rides and pony caravans. But every 20 minutes or so, a boom can be heard around the grounds when a large, makeshift air cannon fires a medium-sized squash at its targets--a wooden pumpkin facade and an abandoned Chevy several hundred feet away. Those shots are usually preceded by another pumpkin lobbed by the trebuchet (which, as everyone knows, is a medieval catapult used to hurl rocks at the enemy).

And if you tire of being a spectator, there are rows of stationary slingshots that visitors can use for their own target practice. Take that, "FuBar."

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