Lawyers' Winterbrook Farm, Maryland
When we spotted a huge orange contraption outside a cornfield near Thurmont in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains, my husband, Doug, and I detoured to investigate.
Doug was delighted to learn it was Lawyers' Winterbrook Farm's unique pumpkin cannon. A "cannonmaster" showed Doug how to load it...adjust aim for wind and elevation...and pull down hard with both hands on the steel handle to propel the pumpkin toward the targets.
Onlookers cheered as Doug yelled, "Fire in the hole!" and launched his pumpkins with a thrilling "whoosh." The farm also features an elaborate cornfield maze. Last year's included four mazes in one.
Thurmont is where U.S. Highway 15 meets State Highways 77 and 550 in north-central Maryland. Lawyers' Winterbrook Farm (13001 Creagerstown Rd.) is on Highway 550, about 2 miles south of town.
The cannon and mazeoperate weekends from late September through Halloween; hours are dusk to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more details, call 1-301/271-4826.