Trebuchet Launching Pumpkin at Target
Photo by Bill Wakeham
Bob Garrison, better known on St. John as the “Trail Bandit,” has produced the ultimate St. John Trail Map, a must have for any resident of St. John as well as for anyone visiting the island, hiker or not. The maps are available on St. John or can be downloaded or purchased on Bob’s website: trailbandit.org. Back in April of this year, I published an interview of Bob, which our readers may find interesting: Trail Bandit Interview Every year on the last Saturday in September, Bob hosts “Henniker’s Annual Pumpkin Festival” at his airport in Henniker New Hampshire. People arrive from all over, some in their own planes. When weather permits there’s an Air Show where, according to Bob, “People do silly things in airplanes.”
There’s a big barbecue, homemade pies, and hard and soft beverages. Bob personally prepared and marinated 120 pounds of chicken for the event. Mary brought her apple pies, but because of dangerous cross winds she didn’t fly them in herself as she normally does.
The highlight of the day is the trebuchet pumpkin launch. First Bob grows the pumpkins. Then on the day of the festival he sets up the trebuchet. An old wrecked automobile is fork-lifted down the field about two hundred yards from the trebuchet to serve as a target.
The trebuchet is armed using the force of about five or more people using a line to raise th 800-pound concrete counterweight. The trebuchet arm is then secured by the trigger mechanism and the pumpkin loaded into it’s pouch. Someone is chosen to pull the trigger and the pumpkin flies off to it’s target at a speed of 69 mies an hour. (Someone was there with a radar gun to verify the speed)