Run No. 1315 20th December 2009
Venue: The Countryman
Beer: Wadsworth 6Xmas, Theakstons XB
Hares: Flip Top
Après Hashers: 5
Membership: Jingle Bells or Bah Humbugs!
The recent weather had left the north of the county looking more like the arctic than humble Hertfordshire, the pack size wasn’t bad considering the conditions of some of the side roads, the day its self couldn’t have been better with the sun out & not a cloud in the blue sky.
The GM was eager to get proceedings underway & the RA was still getting changed while the Circle was formed, the Hare had three major things to tell those gathered, firstly that it took him 5 hours top set the Trail (which no one believed) secondly, that there were some bit s of road to be run & that if any traffic came toward the Pack, they should give the vehicles some room as they wouldn’t be able to stop on the compacted snow!” The third one was to do with the control of dogs, but as he was the only one to have any hounds there it was overlooked!
The Hare also added that the Trail was laid in cocoa mixed flour, this didn’t really seem to stand out from the bright crisp snow but the Pack soon found that all they had to do was follow Winston as he lapped up the flour. Winston would get a taste for the markings later on in the Trail, which made a change from the whole pavlova that he licked to nothing while on the way up to Sis’s son’s a week earlier!
The Keenies were told to check it out from the very start of the Run, as there was a CHK on the edge of the Pub car park, Pepé le Pew was quick to shout out “First Check, that’s it Trail done!” but he was soon encouraged to carry on with the rest of the FRBs.
Just yards in to the start of the Trail & the deep snow on the side of the bridge over the River Rib was scooped up in to snowballs, loads started to fly around, most seemed to be aimed at the Grand Monkey, with all of this excitement as the Keenies took to the obvious route out to the footpath running off behind the Rib to the west of the main A10, they didn’t realise that they hadn’t found any Dust. The Keenies were soon coming back as “On!” was called back outside the front of the Pub!
The Pack all crossed the A10 to the west & on to the footpath opposite from the Pub, to run up between the two properties on that side. Porkie Pie was first up the wide footpath, Sloppy Seconds was right up there behind him, this bit was the easy bit of the Trail, for once the Pack were out on to the exposed fields behind the homes the deep snow made it harder to run on.
It took a while for the Pack to get used to looking for the slightly brown off-coloured flour, the first CHK was found by a hedgerow down to the left, Sloppy Seconds began to venture off that way but was stopped as Porkie Pie called “On!” from the top of the ridge of the hill. Meanwhile Winston had stopped to lap up the CHK! The RA said that the Hare must be a tight bastard to lay the Trail in something he can feed his dog on!
Pepé le Pew decided that he was going to lay down & make a ‘snow angel’ by sweeping his arms back & forth to make the wings, he was just lucky to have got this in before Winston stopped to off-load in the snow!
Sludge & Mr. X followed on to the top of the ridge, some 60 feet were gained from the road level in 800 yards & down the other, even steeper side of Mill hill to a Held CHK on the embankment above the lane. Once the back markers, who had been preoccupied by messing about in the snow & apparently 2-1-2 Maureen was childishly holding her own in the snow fight, had made it to the CHK the Keenies were let loose to search for the Trail again, it took a while for Porkie Pie, Sludge & Mr. X to find the Dust up the narrow, single track Whitely lane.
Of course as they made it around the S bend the Hare’s warnings about traffic came true as 4X4 had to come driving toward the pack, the Hash soon discovered how deep the snow was that had been piled up on the verge by a snow plough, it was knee deep on the RA as it went over his socks! ARP & No Eye Deer were lucky enough to get on to the private drive on the bend, so they avoided the deep snow, for the time being at least. Luckily Pebbledash didn’t know that the drive led up by Bush wood, bu the smut would come later!
The Trail left the lane & headed northward along the edge of a crop field, but with the snow covering the uneven land beneath it was pretty much impossible to run upon without twisting an ankle! So, it was a walk to the farm track at the other end of the field, at least the Hash could look at the large Hares playing out on the snow covered slopes on the way to another Held CHK.
Kylie took the opportunity to take photo, though he resisted the Pack’s called of “Back a bit, to the right a bit!” as he would have fallen off of the bridge over a tributary. As the Keenies looked for the continuation of the Trail, Pepé le Pew decided to walk on the flattest part of the snowy path in the ruts of the track, suddenly there was a cracking noise as the ice he was walking on broke & loads of brown water flooded up around his boots!
Pepé le Pew now found himself looking after Spillage, as she had taken a tumble & wasn’t happy at hitting the ground. Pebbledash had abandoned him to look after the kids after this point, which she may have regretted later on when the snowballing resumed?
Porkie Pie, No Eye Deer & Sludge led the way on the long steep climb up the track to Hyde Hall Farm, along the way No Eye Deer spotted a hawk hovering in the distance waiting to descend on some small prey below. Up at the farm yard & the Keeneis noticed that the boot prints that were possibly the Hares, had disappeared from sight, so the Pack began to scatter around the possible options the path could take, since there was no sign of any footpath markers!
A few ventured off toward the hot-rod parked up behind the west side to the farm buildings, but there was no Dust there, Porkie Pie, Sludge & Mr. X had had several attempts going through the main entrance of the farm itself before they realised that the Hare had gone that way but had walked along the very edge of the outbuildings to disguise the route he had chosen!
The three FRBs were now a little Über-confident as they began to run on the snow covered concrete driveway, they followed the route around the left-hand turn toward a distant footpath sign. None of them were happy to hear “On! On!” called from behind them as the rest of the Pack were marshalled by the Hare to take a path beside converted barn building called Chamoix.
The RA caught up as the Trail turned on to a footpath running in front of the couple of isolated houses, one was called the Retreat, he & the other FRBs soon thought that they may have been tricked in to running another Falsie as the Pack came back toward them, but it was a false alarm as the rest of the Pack had accidently gone by the gate in the hedge that the Trail goes through, instead they had carried straight on& into the Retreat’s garden!
Now, the Trail would run through a paddock & at the end of this was a gate, the Hare called out for the Pack to open the wooden gate, to save the Hash from scrambling over it, but the snow drift blown up against it made it impossible to do so. Pebbledash took her time in getting her leg over (the gate) & the ensuing bottle-neck meant that the RA & ARP were sitting ducks for those behind them & armed with snowballs.
Mr. X took a direct hit to the back of the neck, he soon felt cold, wet powdery snow going slipping the back of his sweatshirt! Once over the gate the Pack found that the snow was over knee deep in places, Sloppy Seconds did the gentlemanly thing to do, as he held down the top strand of barbed-wire running just over the ice covered plank of a stile into the next field.
A beautiful white panorama of the valley lay ahead, but most weren’t interested in the view as it was at this point in the Trail that there was a lot of noise, it was like St Trinian’s with all of the girly screams as, firstly, Pebbledash went over in the deep snow, thanks to a helping hand, she was covered in a white powdery coating & this was the catalyst that led to a mêlée as a free-for all snowball fight. ARP was pretty adamant that Porkie Pie was now driving home after he caught her with a good shot. Only Sludge got away without being snow covered as he carried on with the Trail & was well out of range.
If Sludge was out of range of most snowballs, he had absolutely nothing to fear from the GM’s efforts as Pepé le Pew pointed out what a “Girly throw” he had! The RA was glad that no one had to rely on him lobbing any hand grenades as there would be a lot more ‘blue on blue’ or ‘friendly fire incidents!
The conversation soon changed & dropped to its usual low, smutty level as the talk of making snowmen & women came up with the use of two melons & a cucumber!
The Pack found the going back across the next couple of fields wasn’t easy at all, not as the ridges of the crops below were disguised by the covering of snow. Sludge was now like a bloodhound, with the scent of beer in his nostrils he easily dealt with the next CHK on the farm track to Hodenhoe Manor, he had also spotted the single track of boot prints going off that way which then disappearing behind a tree & then cutting across the corner of the next field.
Mr. X caught up with Sludge as they Trail led down to the hedgerow along the bank of the Rib, the Trail turned southward to follow this & along the way through end of a couple of fields Sludge asked Mr. X how they got over the water last time the Trail came Inn that way, the RA replied that it was by way of a shallow ford, at that time it was summer & there was very little water in it.
The two FRBS came around the edge of the hedgerow to find the ford wasn’t dry, instead a sheet of ice covered the fast running, freezing cold water, beside a drop down of about 6 feet! An arrow on the opposite bank pointed the way home, Sludge & the RA made use of the green island of a natural dam built up above the drop. This natural stepping stone was pretty secure, but Pepé le Pew decided that he would try the ice, both he & the GM managed to break the ice to stand in the freezing water.
The screaming that had followed the Pack for the last mile of the Run was not going to abate as the Hash encountered the ice obstacle, the GM made sure that 2-1-2 Maureen & No Idea made it safely across.
The Pack were now at the lowest point of Buckland Bottom, here the Hare advised them to ‘follow the bunny tracks’ as he claimed that the rabbits don’t like it deep, Pebbledash said that her rabbit goes deep & the RA congratulated her in having gotten almost all the way to the end of the Trail before lowering the tone!
The Pack were now altogether as they diagonally crossed a small field to reach the edge of the A10. Everyone certainty felt that they had been out ion a run, even those who walked as the Hash really had to lift their feet up to get through the snow drifts!
Most changed inside the warm Pub, there they found 3D & Slug, with Eddie & Ray, & they had sensible opted to stay there instead of go around the cold Trail. Sludge soon took up residence in a nice armchair by the blazing open fire. The RA got the Down-Downs out of the way quite quickly, as he thought it unfair to punish any misdemeanours after the Hash had eaten! So, things were kicked off with Flip Top being award his Hit for a fine Trail, which was almost impossible to run but worth it for the snow vista of Herts countryside at its best.
Pepé le Pew was out for completing his 50th Herts Run, for which he received his bag & a Down-Down. Pebbledash, ARP were out for being a victim like the RA, while Paxo, Porkie Pie (who was now driving back) & 2-1-2 Maureen were out for being the bullies to throw the snowballs! Finally the RA had the last Hits as the Hashit was absent, its buried somewhere beneath the snow in his back garden, so expect to see it on him for the next couple of weeks!
The Pack settled in to the excellent spicy meat ball stew, baked potatoes & bread, though the RA declined any of the Parsnip soup as he claimed that parsnips are the Devils penis! Especially as there were second helpings of everything. The Kids had party balloons, while some of the adults bought Santa hats with flashing stars on, in aid of a local kid’s Hospice.