Piggy has caught me on the all time stats for CH3, so to put off the inevitable, I slipped out of my lab and made it to the runsite just as the run was kicking off. I changed while I listened to the harebrief… He was being frank and upfront – we weren’t going to like it, he didn’t expect many to do it, and we should bail out at any opportunity. After that, most seemed like they’d be happy enough sitting around for a beer rather than touching the trail! The warning was fair enough, I would heed it.
I walked for a bit at the start chatting to Alice, and relaxing from the day. We followed the usual route, and then a check at the split. Nobody calling, so I set off up the hill, for a few steps before Chuckie called us along the creek. I splashed through the puddles to annoy Sheep Shagger. Then when CW turned left up the hill, we all smelled a false trail. So I took 2 steps further on and found paper. I jogged along for a bit, and promptly realised I had left my inhaler in the car, during my rushed afterwork change. Damnit. Over half a K in, I nearly turned back, but decided to continue and try to control my breathing.
For a while I knew where this was going. A circle check, and I didn’t see him heading towards the Ag Center, and I would have been very impressed if he had found the trail over back around the top on short notice. I went straight on up, and sure enough found paper. Another check and I continued up, but then veered off to the left. Over 100, this wasn’t it, but it had to be up, and this trail was bending back to the right. In the end I hacked my way across a bit of a ravine and saw the paper continuing straight up the hill. I think behind CW was getting all the bad luck dutifully checking downhill each time.
Another check and again I went up, but this time, there was nothing. I came back down and watched while Angry Inch stood at the circle listening to Chuckie checking off to the left. The only other option was down, but he waited for me to go check there first. Sure enough down took us to the creek, and the “W” option to head back down. Tempting though it was, I followed trail a bit more and we crossed the creek and climbed a killed hill. I hate that climb after the creek… I guess the steepness just hits my elevation gain threshold? Every time I’ve done it, it saps my energies. Just a little too steep? After already climbing to there? I dunno, but when we plateaued there was no check. That told me a lot. False trail ahead? That was my hope… I hoped there would be a false trail, and nobody would be forced to climb higher up…. Did the hare know the trail goes to Doi Pui? I hunted around a bit looking for alternative paper, but there was none. HRA joined me as I started following trail again. We started chatting about the “W”, that he hadn’t seen, and we talked each other into turning back and heading down. We pretended Mr. Poo didn’t see us. At the plateau, where there was no check, we traversed to the other trail (60m) and sure enough found the rest of the trail heading down.
Sorry Piggy for not completing your challenge… But another 200m elevation gain after I pulled out? I think I made the right decision!17th October - CH3 - Pigshit,