Byte’s write up is “Colourful Paper”.
The rest is by Alice.
Taste my Buns asked Frozen Dick on Friday night what the trail was like. “50% runnable” he replied, “And 50% not!” So it just shows hares don’t always lie.
Frozen, Shagless and Graven Image teamed up to set a rather challenging three legs of pain, strain and do it again in the hills, ravines and valleys of Ob Kham. But mostly the first two.
I wasn’t doing great:sore back, dodgy ankles, sore Achilles – I was hoping to survive A leg and then see. Well I saw and I did the whole shebang, with a bit of give n take on leg 1. Am writing this in bed Sunday am so don’t actually know if I can walk this morning yet.
It all started with the liquorice allsorts of HHH signs which hares should specify. NON STANDARD signs. Do NOT look for red on white! the email should say. I was hoping the trail would be marked more clearly in better colours. More of that later.
Off we went from onto familiar trails and after one neat hidden trail up from the first sandy valley which was after a Skiddy stick FT, I knew where we were and climbed vertically to the ridge of the property. The check looking down into valley 2 could be down the steep hillside or left back through the woods to the initial main lateral path. I favoured option B and followed TMB and Scooby although most everyone didn’t. A faint Germanic ONON! and I thought I was getting into the hare’s head. Tricky, intricate, tight. The next circle where 4 choices present was easy as no one had turned up 2nd valley. After 100m there was blue paper with BB. I was in the lead! I was reading the hare! A little too well as it turns out.
Next check I again went straight but without too much confidence. TMB went up into the forest and I know she and Frozen know trails there. Browny paced behind me, looking very Smurf like in his yellow condom headgear and shouted that I was on as he could see something blue on the fence another 50m ahead. So could I but it didn’t look right. It was metal I think and trail had been called from inside the forest now 250m away. What to do? Be brave and carry on! I reckoned there was a good chance Frozen would bring us out of the forest into the paddock just ahead. I padded forward as the pack disappeared way behind me into the bush. I was alone – save for a great big chalk arrow and Beer Near sign. ‘Kinell, I was at the end of leg 1 already after less than 2km. Talk about second guessing the hare!
Being a true sport, I retraced trail backwards into the forest – completely surprising Frozen in the process who yelled: What the fcuk are you doing here, you’re running it backwards! As if! I carried on until I heard the FRBs approaching and watched as small groups stayed together at checks rather than spreading and leaving the kicking out to someone else. That theme was to repeat itself for the next 3 hours.
After the beer stop it was up, up, up to a forest ridge after a V hadn’t been kicked. Sex Pistol and self climbed steeply right, no calling at all from the left. Wtf? Poor hashing. Eventually at 120m she called OnOn! despite no check back from down left. We went up and over down to a saddle only to find the FRB group running in from the left off trail. Why had they ALL run left together thru the V and not seen the Checkback? Why hadn’t one of the bastards gone up and kicked the V if they thought it was left? Fcukers all went wrong and got onto blue first leg paper which they followed like idiots for a while. Som nom na!
Tricky trails, steep, narrow, ravines, creek beds and a ridge path lead us to a stupid ‘something’ after a cruel and pointless 100m steep ascent. ABB could not decipher it. ‘A box of flour with all paper in tact’ he said. Doesn’t look like a circle or a FT. And no paper trail anywhere. Down through the trees I see Turkish standing silently at a circle. Why a circle check so close and not connected to this ‘thing’ ABB came across?
By the time Sex Pistol, ABB, Suckit and Blows Herself had got to the circle, Turkey had silently departed and paper was strewn in every direction but not helpfully. We followed ABB right on a decent trail and scoured for trail paper. It was leaf green on this 2nd leg, and er, well camouflaged in many places. 5 mins later we reversed and found a small hillside trail going left from the circle. Very cute, but clearly marked would have saved us ten mins. More than a few circles were kicked out but paper only went 15m and then there were multi options. This gets more irritating the more tired and hurt one becomes. And I was both. By the time I came to the second beer stop along with Shrek and Pussy Whisperer I didn’t even realise I’d been on trails I knew for the km at least.
Shrek had a nasty skin issue on his heel so called it a day. HRA was happy with his 12km. I was tempted to quit and my heel hurt. Annoyingly after taking off my shoe, sock and strapping and replacing and retightening, it didn’t feel too bad so I grabbed the LAST small water and set off with Sloppy Rod and Andreas, keen to see how the hare got us over the hills to the familiar terrain we must enter on the other side.
I wasn’t so keen while I was doing it, hard going, tiny paths, steep drops, a stony creek bed that pushed my ankles over their limits, bush whacking ups and down etc. Finally we came out on a trail I’d investigated before but was so overgrown I’d given up after 50m! Now we could jog a bit up the hill to the water towers, down past the cows and up to the blue roof house and a long curving lovely trail through the forest. From here on I was aware of all the hare’s options but he surprised me with a little forest path left off a dirty circle mid track. Down and back into the end of sandy valley and the long, straight jog home. Wrong! The bugger took us into the bush and along the hidden valley trail behind the first range of foothills. Frozen’s paw print all over that move! Out of the forest after a steep ravine traverse on a narrow path between two fences of lethal new barbed wire. “Don’t fall into that” I urged myself as my shattered body moved down to the big OnIn on autopilot and I could suddenly see the hashers and cars at the A site field opposite. “You look stressed” says Strangely. But not as much as some.
Big thanks to the hares for all their efforts and the pack for their company and commitment. ChiangMai Ball breaker 2019 did what it says on the tin