In fall, a young man’s thoughts turn to boating in a pumpkin

You have to give a nod to Rick Swenson, 35, of Fergus Falls, who found inspiration watching a giant pumpkin dropped onto a car in Lancaster, Minn., some time ago.

And who can blame him? Who wouldn’t be inspired by this?

“We’ve always been good friends, but we go back and forth a bit,” Swenson tells the Grand Forks Herald. “I sat down last spring and thought, ‘How am I going to one-up him?’ ”

So he grew a big pumpkin, starting as seeds last March, and culminating with a 13 1/2-hour paddling expedition on Saturday from Grand Forks to Oslo, Minn.

In the pumpkin.

“I’m glad we did it,” he said. “It’s something goofy to do and have a fun time.”

Video here.

  • jon


    I’m sure everyone has seen the “Square watermelon” at some point or another, right?

    Seems like a pumpkin could be grown in the shape of a canoe/kayak/boat of some sort to make the paddling easier…

    Is a market for “pumpkin boats”?

  • Zachary

    Better use for a pumpkin than for that gosh-awful “pumpkin spice” uggggghhh…

    • jon

      There is no pumpkin in pumpkin spice.

      It’s nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger…. or some level of their component parts that have been removed and reconstituted by science…

      Pumpkin (real pumpkin) is a mild flavor, the pumpkin flavor in pumpkin pie is mostly from the spice (many “pumpkin” pie fillings contain no pumpkin either… they use some other squash)

      Giant pumpkins are generally no good for eating…
      Actual pie pumpkins (for eating) are between the size of a softball and a basketball…

      • Jerry

        You are obviously part of the Pumpkin Advisory Board.

        • jon

          Alas no.

          But if anyone from the PAB is reading this and would like to talk about a position I’m interested!

          (We grew pumpkins in the garden this year and I have ~32lbs of them at home waiting to be canned. It was an off year for us we had 74 lbs two years ago (last time we grew them), those jars of pumpkin are almost gone now… only 2-3 pints left.)

  • Tyler

    You missed a great headline! “Pumpkin boat floater squashes world record”