On November 3, 2021

Pumpkin-kayaker paddles Otter Creek

By John S. McCright

Middlebury photographer Josh Hummel teamed up with pumpkin grower Ethan Nelson of Brandon and giant pumpkin-growing support specialist Jenna Baird from Baird Farm in Chittenden to create an unusual nautical opportunity for Dane VanNosdeln, a Charlotte resident who teaches fifth grade at Bristol Elementary School.

Courtesy Josh Hummel/AdventureWithJosh.com
Adventure photographer Dane Vannosdeln paddled down Otter Creek inside a 600-pound pumpkin grown in Brandon.

On Sept. 26 they hollowed out the 600-pound winter squash, set it in the Otter Creek just a little ways north of Belden Falls, VanNosdeln stepped in, and they launched the floating pumpkin. He skillfully piloted the craft for three-quarters of a mile before landing it on the shore, staying afloat the whole time.

“Pumpkins are very buoyant,” Hummel told the Independent, a sister paper of the Mountain Times.

Hummel, who teaches art at the Bridge School, said he and his crew staged the exploit to pursue the beckoning call of adventure through agricultural roots.

“Part whimsical,  part extreme gardening, part good ol’ backyard adventure!” Hummel said. “I thought it would make a unique submission for an adventure photography essay.”

To view more of his photos see page 4 or visit his website: AdventureWithJosh.com.

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