It’s been awhile since I’ve been hashing, but for various reasons I ended up headed down canal road with my 11 year old son “Terror Byte” to see what HRA had in store for us. The A site was up the road past the Sameong road football field. After a hare brief we were set off up the road… Not sure why we went up the road, rather than along the trail next to the road, but nevermind! We were promised powder, but for quite some way we didn’t get any – Terror Byte was up front flirting his youthful exuberance with Knock Out. Finally powder was spotted headed off to the right.
The first check was some distance into the run, but Terrorbyte was still leading, only to gamble wrong on a 50/50 chance. It was Brownie that called on from straight on. For the diligent reader there may be moments of “proud father” emerging from this write up. Yes, Brown Finger is back, and he isn’t “Round Finger”, he’s a lean mean running machine, prone to getting checks wrong, and before too long the universe was back in order. BF came back from a false trail, which had us befuddled for a while. TMB eagerly tested to the left, someone I didn’t know tested to the right – I mostly mingled and chatted.
I regretted that moments later after the call to the right, and I was stuck in a traffic jam as we ascended a creekbed steep up the hill. (The amnestic hare later had no recollection of the number of hills he forced us up). We climbed, we clambered, and when finally there was the call of circle check from the ridge, I broke off to the right and scrambled out of the traffic. Typically, the call was to the left, and I was back in a solid pack. The checks were working nicely and we were kept together as a big group.
We looped along the edge of the ridge line, and Graven took the lead. Another circle check, and with Graven checking straight TMB went down to the right. Silence from up ahead as Poo and someone else edged their way after Graven. Brownie and I pondered for a while before deciding Graven had surely gone far enough, and set off down the hill after TMB. She was coming back up, and finally the call from Poo – have I tuned out Graven’s calls? Did he call? Deep in our hearts we know the answer.
Finally the trail broke and we came down off the mountain, but I knew we were a long way from home. So far it actually reminded me of a utter fuck up that Klaus Barber set many years back, when he apologised for where he came out of the mountain. We were a long way from home! We had to turn a sharp right, and we did. But descending out of the forest, we came down a steep bank where we could see a circle check at the bottom – Turkish ahead went to the right (No way buddy!). Given the check visible, there was a large group that took our time navigating down the hill, discussing which way it might be. Most guessed left, but I had a hunch it would be straight on to the trail back up the hill. Damnit, how many hills would we have to climb???
Sure enough Cumalot called us on from straight on. And the a false trail. Meh. Of course we had to go back over the hill, but the hare wanted us to scramble up the shitty trail, rather than going up the perfectly good trail?? I’ve lost count of how many times trail has been set scrambling up there, when there is a perfectly good trail that cuts up to the ridge, and the perfectly good trail leaves options for decent checks at the top. There is no reason to scramble up the hill… – so I didn’t. I went up the decent trail, and met Brownie at the top as he was checking from the circle at the top. Of course it was back down to the left, and I rejoined the pack – which gained Leaky Faucet and Stumbling Dyke who appeared from completely the other side of the mountain – nice short cut guys!
Unfortunately the way down the hill wasn’t really headed in the right direction, and I knew that we would have to go back up again to get home – or maybe HRA had found a road option? At the bottom of the hill another circle that brought a lot of the pack together. Near the temple, there was much confusion with many of the FRBs headed towards the road. Those that did check correctly back up the hill didn’t call enough (MR. POO – from your GPS this means you!!!) so it was a while before the rest of the pack figured it out. The trail went back into the temple and back up the hill… I remember it clearly, because my 11 year old son Terror Byte was still in the pack – I checked my GPS, 4.5km in. The hare had promised 6k, so another 1.5k at least.
Yet another hill for sure… We went back up the same hill, only to turn around and come back down again, but still not quite in the right direction. Damn you hare! Another circle check had most of the hashers going left. I figured we had to go over another hill to get back, so hacked a trail out up the hill. I was with KO, and finally the call came from Blows Herself who had taken an alternative route. The hashers descended on the call. KO decided to follow me, rather than go back to the circle – she may have regretted it as we scrambled off trail back to the pack. From there we emerged and everyone knew where they were and the next 1km or so needed to get home… Or well most did…
I caught Turkish near the OnIn and we got back together not far off the front group. I grabbed a drink and showered off… Knowing my son wasn’t far behind. I went to stand at the corner, waiting for him to come up the road… It was starting to get dark. When I checked with HRA, he didn’t have a bike. Does Nothing and some other walkers came in, saying they hadn’t seen Terror Byte… I panicked… I headed back on trail screaming my sons name, wondering where the hell he was and what had happened to him. HRA stole a bike and came to help, whizzing past me saying that we haven’t ever lost anyone yet… – that wasn’t very reassuring… I must have gone a km or so back on trail – I found the bike HRA had stolen and left, and continued to hike after him. Complete indescribable fear running through me as I screamed his name. Words don’t exist to describe the emotions; fear, anger, terror… I just wanted to be at home with my sons.
It turns out Terror Byte had met up with Stumbling Dyke and Leaky Faucet on the trail. While their first short cut had been successful, their second wasn’t quite so… Terrorbyte had made the sensible decision to stay with the adults he knew (when they decided not to follow trail), and they decided to head to the road rather than head back into the hills as the light was fading. Sensible, rational decisions by almost everyone! Matty – sensibly stayed with people he knew. SD & LF sensibly decided to stick to the road when they had the option for a safe route back… Meanwhile Daddy Byte decided to run off backwards on trail wearing flip flops, without a flashlight, randomly screaming “Matty”. At least I took my phone, but didn’t answer it when Poo tried to call me…
For a hash run, the trail was great – challenging, some good checks kept the pack together for a long time. Perhaps given the hills, it may have been a little long – afterall a pickup brought in the walkers. Perhaps consider a beerstop next time?