8th June – CH4 – Blows Herself (& Alice)

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Rating: 5.3/10 (3 votes cast)

I was cutting it fine, but as I drove down canal road I didn’t spot a sign, so ended up at Ob Khan road behind some idiot driver and then trying to find my way back to the runsite. Hopefully the markings on trail might be better? I was late, 5 mins or so, and when I got there Lunglaa added a few beers to the ice chest while I put my shoes on, and pointed me happily in the direction the others had gone – typically towards the hills. Every time I am coming from behind it makes me keenly aware of how hard it must be for walkers to follow the trail off of checks. A couple of checks weren’t kicked entirely clearly, but didn’t take too long, and soon enough I thought I could hear voices to my left.

Finally I could see hashers the other side of a messy shiggy creek, and heard them moaning about not seeing paper. I couldn’t see paper either – why in the hashgods good name would anyone use leaf-coloured yellow strips for markings? Choosing the clip them to bamboo leaves that were lines of yellow strips, and in that sunlight it was a nightmare. I managed to find a way across and the hashers were befuddled. For a few km it wasn’t a case of who was fittest, it was who had the youngest eyes – and Obscene was the king. We all followed trail up a nice track, until there was no paper any more. Given how hard it had been to find the paper to begin with, we continued for some ways, and it was a while before we went back and found a long strip of paper stapled to the back of a tree – so that is the style of false trail check back?! WTF?! This was tough going to follow the trail and figure out what the hares intended. We traversed to an orchard, and to make it worse, we were off trail scrambling through trees trying to guess where another leaf coloured marker would be. The pack was close together, so I guess that is the goal?!

We emerged to a mud road, but no check, just trail to the left. I lead the way, a few steps more and there was the circle. I did an about turn wanting to check up the road, but with everyone so close together there was already a plethora of hashers heading up – I was left committed to the no-brainer. HRA took an eternity to find the paper, even though he was stood on it, so heading up the hill I was pretty much at the back of the pack again. Into the trees and we were still climbing. Up ahead another check, and the pack split – most heading to the right. That didn’t feel right – that trail takes us back to where we were before – not impossible but not likely. CW and Poo had come back from the left, and when I asked they said HRA had gone plenty up the trail… Hmmmmz… HRA – again? I headed up, and sure enough I think it was Happy Ending (or maybe Cumalot) was heading in the same direction a bit to the left. As we headed up HRA was going around in circles, walking past strips and not seeing them.

CW hit the front, and I settled into a jog behind him, processing where we were and where we needed to be heading. I saw the next check coming, and CW carried on, while I went on the switchback back to the right. I was confident – straight there would make it a long run, but the alternative made more sense. Sweet! There was paper! From here, I started zoning into the hares minds, I had them figured out. Down the hill towards the gully, and another check. Pretty sure it wasn’t left – to be honest I was pretty sure it was straight down off the edge, but I had a bit of a lead, so I went round to the right dropping down to find an easier way down to the lower trail. Back along the lower trail and there was Sex Pistol and CW heading down the hill pointing at something. I was just below them on the nice trail, and sure enough there was paper. Paper, and then no check for some reason. I was suspicious of a false trail, as there was a way they could get back into the hill without intersecting their out trail, but I was now pretty confident I had them figured out.

There was another circle, and here Sex Pistol, CW and Spitz Spunk were with me – they all seemed to want to go right, so I let them, and headed left. After a 100m I let myself have a wry smile as there was the yellow paper. ONON. On to the road at the back of the hill and another circle – this one wouldn’t even catch CW, I headed right, and up the road. Had a brief chat with a friendly cyclist who distracted me from the paper on the left until CW appeared at the circle with a quick “RU?” – “ONON”. I knew where the next circle would be, even though they tried to hide it away up to the left, and didn’t skip a step as I headed on and to the trail up to the right, sure enough I was calling “ONON” right about when CW got to the circle. Another check with only one realistic way to go – behind me CW getting there just as I called ONON. Another check, and I was 80/20 – it wasn’t impossible to go right, but it was a trail that headed down steeply into the valley we’d been in before, and there is no way of ‘cutting’ the trail. I had a hunch it was left, and sure enough it was. Yet again, I called “ONON” as CW got to the circle, but this time I added “BE CAREFUL AT THE NEXT JUNCTION”! The hares had tried to pull a fast one! The trail was marked around to the right at a fork in the trail, but I could see paper ahead – not on the main trail, but on the smaller trail that we so rarely use… It was close to masterful, but not quite enough to beat this master! 😉 It did however beat CW as he was very careful at that junction – making sure to carefully follow the paper to the inevitable false trail. Apparently HRA was with him when he got back, but having run through another V check, there was silence around me.

I was home free! We were close to home! It was just down this hill and I would “WIN”! The trail veered left slightly… a bit strange… and then a “False Trail”. A sting in the tail? I don’t deserve this! I could just head down the hill and no-one will know – it must be 600m away! But hang on? Was that FT from the V check? or was it a new FT? Damnit… I knew there was a way off to the right and headed over to look for paper. Nothing. I headed back to the trail, and just found some paper leading steeply down into a gully as CW appeared on the scene asking what was going on. We were back together and given how close to home we were I figured we would probably just jog in together… It isn’t a race afterall! So I lead the way over the rocks down the steep gully, and then all of a sudden CW skipped past me and started running! Over uneven ground! What was he trying to prove?! I upped pace and when we got to the bottom and hit another main trail there was a circle. CW turned right – I confess, this time it wasn’t just a wry smile, this time if I had more air in my lungs it would have been a full on cackle! I of course turned left and carried on running. It seems after 30m or so CW looked over his shoulder and saw me running and realised his mistake!

It wasn’t over though, as just when I saw paper I saw the co-hare. Alice stood by his bike with tiny half mouthful splashes. Honour dictated I had to take it, and did while still chuckling inwardly. I didn’t wait long, and headed off with CW not far behind, slowly pulling me back. Another circle, but I didn’t break step, and around the corner there was the ONIN. I walked so CW could catch up and he was just wishing for a few more metres in the run.

The hares were duly punished for their misdeeds, but I think everyone got some good exercise and had an entertaining circle – Cheers!

8th June - CH4 - Blows Herself (& Alice), 5.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings