|12 June 2016||Maurice||Maurice|
It’s nearly 6 weeks since I laid my trail at Baydon and there’s still no report of the event. I therefore thought it best if I told you all about it myself.
And why shouldn’t the hare write the mag? Particularly as it was one of the best hashes in 2016 and clearly a potential winner of the annual award. ☺
I had the maps out two weeks beforehand and set myself a challenge which was to set the trail the wrong way around from the pub in Baydon. We had done it the usual way twice in the past four years. The hare has to think about this a lot as the runners will just say “I know the way this is going to go” and what’s the point of circles in that case?
I took my black lab, Rocky, with me to explore. It was new territory for him and he became a pain, sniff, sniffing every metre and pissing on every leaf while I was trying to run. The first part of the trail was downhill past the sewage works and the field with all the llamas – goodness, they were curious and delightful. About halfway down I decided the short trail should turn right there but kept on the long trail myself.
Pig Hill is a tough run but the top of the hill in the woods is a wonder. Fabulous views over the cereal fields, golden and shaking on this day, and several choices of trails to confound the fast runners. The trail I chose went down the central option on a grass track whooshing rabbits and their kits back into the shrubbery on either side. Rocky had a ball but was far too slow to catch up and make friends with them. He plays with two rabbits next door and has no concept of hurting other animals. I hope it stays that way.
Another three options on the next circle and then down a tight path where “Chariots of Fire” echoed in my head and I thought bugger it and roared it out loud! I pulled big branches that had been logged nearby on to the path so the runners could have fun jumping over them. At the end of that path the trail skirted the wheat and barley fields and I met another dog walker and had a good old chat.
The trail went uphill and now we had a challenge. In the past the way down to the low levels is not obvious and there have been mutterings among the elders that we had run on private land. Mmmm!
I tried the official way and got stung and barbed and it meant climbing several strands of wire. It was too much and clearly the farmer doesn’t want anyone on the official path. I went back and tried the other side of the wire fence and found an old gate that was overgrown and hidden. Another bit of cunning by the farmer. I cut away the undergrowth and exposed the gate and followed an old track through the wood but again it was impossible and I was torn to bits. I came back to the top and looked about for a deer trail that skirted the open field which was ideal and at the end before the road it was a marked path at some time in the past in any case.
The route back caught up with the short trail where the walkers would have been earlier and led into the farm. They have done a lot with that farm since we were there last – clean, nicely appointed, good paths. Shame every farm can’t be like that.
On the Sunday, Rocky and I set out at 8am to set the trail with flour. Boy, did it rain! By the time I got back to the short trail the flour had disappeared and I went to the salient circles again. But, as they say, it never rains on a hash and by the time everyone was ready to go it was dry and we had a good turnout.
Rocky and I sneaked home as I had forgotten his food! I changed my clothes, then back to meet the early runners – Keith in particular who was recovering from an injury and did the short – and then a pint in the pub with everyone and a good bit of craic. Brilliant!!