Pumpkin launcher and straw maze

October 16, 2006

This past weekend, Rose and I went with a bunch of people from small group to the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. As with any such event, there were of course a ton of people, lotsa traffic, and parking was a headache… soooo the Pumpkin Festival itself wasn’t so interesting. BUT, on our way home, we stopped by a massive straw maze and saw a sign for a pumpkin launcher and we knew we had to go check it out.

At first, we thought it would be a Lord of the Rings style catapult pumpkin launcher, so we were slightly disappointed when we just saw a large slingshot. But then we observed a few pumpkins being launched and we knew we had to try it. We bought some launching pumpkins…

And let ’em fly!

Those pumpkins actually fly pretty far!

So after firing off a few pumpkins, we went to the straw maze. It was $5 / person ($18 for 4) and the lady at the door said it would take 30 minutes, so we figured it’d probably take 10. But since we were there, we decided to go in and run around.


All told, it took us about 45 minutes to get through the thing. It was much larger than we anticipated and it was actually a ton of fun. Dan, being an search engine engineer at A9, suggested a depth-first search algorithm. Clearly the people who constructed the maze were a bit smarter than that algorithm because it pretty much got us completely lost in less than 5 minutes. Eventually, we did make it out though (although we probably ran into every dead end in the entire maze).

Verdict: highly recommended!

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2 Responses to “Pumpkin launcher and straw maze”

  1. Jorg Says:

    To clarify for anyone who read this post: the Arata farms straw maze is nowhere near the rest of the pumpkin festival: it’s 6 mile south of the 92/1 intersection, on highway 1. If you get there via highway 1, coming from the south (perhaps, say, via highway 84 from 280) then you’ll encounter none of the horrendous traffic that typically poisons a weekend in Half Moon Bay. (Yesterday (Saturday) it took more than an hour to get from 92/280 to 92/1, a 7-mile trip that normally takes only 10 minutes)

    Also, perhaps as a result of this blog, they had to double capacity at the pumpkin launcher: there are now two of them! And they’ve set up a target: if you manage to hit the target with one of the small launcher pumpkins, they’ll give you a large pumpkin as your reward!

  2. Johan Says:

    I went to the Arata Pumpkin Farm on my last holiday in America.
    It was a really nice Maze, unfortunately there were no pumpkins by the time we were there.
    It only lasted me 10 minutes to complete the maze, at the same moment there was a family who completed the maze in almost 1,5 hour.


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