4th of July – apparently a significant date for some Americans. Fireworks? Hotdogs? Fair enough! The highlight for me was having Does Nothing come out for a beer – he does stick very well to his name, but I did enjoy his splash of Sex Pistol! Lets hope he comes out again soon – it really wasn’t any trouble with Purple Fart ably assisting.
We rolled up to FD’s back terrace, and there was a big crowd. Gorf & Scooby in town for next week’s Lanna was a little scary given my level of fitness (or lack of). I walked up to the first check with CW, and I went left while he went right. After 60m there was the OnIn! 😀 I was seriously tempted to call it a day! Someone insisted it was old, and we should check past it – why bother? But I dillied around for a bit, and was way back when it was called back in the opposite direction. With the FRBs in action up ahead, and a few checks that were just straight on, along narrow trails that were hard to run, or pass anyone, it took a long time for me to make any progress. Finally I heard people checking ahead, and then finally got to a check that nobody had picked yet.
I remembered this check from a week or so back, and it is a good one. As soon as I got there, and given that it hadn’t been solved yet, I made an about turn and headed up the least obvious hill, where there is a trail but it is impossible to see. Meanwhile everyone else had fanned out the other side of a barbed wire fence, looking up at me with bemused expressions as they tried to figure out how to get back to me!
I carried on up the hill and then got into a bit of a jog, knowing I would nail the next few checks. A “V” check, and this had to be left – Right would take you back around the hill towards where they had been checking before. The next one would be right, left is too soon, and FD likes this ridge trail – he’s used it for the CH3, the Bunnies and again for CH4. I just had to keep my eye out for the cut back down to the left as there was certainly an FT up ahead. CW started catching up and distracted my attention. Damnit – the FT. Even though I was exactly right with where to look for trail, it took me a while as he’d found a slightly different connect than he used last week. I found it after 80m or so, and the pack howled like Red Indians as they chased me down the hill.
Gorf caught me and must have been frustrated on the narrow trail for a while before he managed to find a way to skip past. Scooby and CW past soon after. I was moving faster than I wanted to, but kept my eyes looking to the left to try and spot where we would cut back over the hill. Sure enough Gorf came running back from a False Trail, but by now I realised I was overheating and needed to slow down. I found my own way back from here.