Hare: Dipstick, RA: Gadget, Scribe: D-turd
It was a fine Autumn evening for run 763 from the “Extraordinary Hare” Pub on the A417 at West Hendred, which belied the fact that it was to be the first run of Autumn 2013 to be completed after nightfall, in the dark. The Sun was just setting in the West & an almost full Moon was arising in the East, so all was set fair.
The hare for the run was the extraordinary Dipstick who was to be a “live” Hare; Accordingly he was given a more than generous start of at least 5 mins on the pack! Whilst giving the hare his lead time, the GM Silent briefed us on the run, revealing that the Hare had given him a marked map to guide us if in difficulty. He also enlightened us upon the possibilities of Astronomical observation whilst on the run, as Uranus was in conjunction with something else unmentionable! (All I saw was the Moon looming large in the East)
At 19.13 we set off, shortly encountering the 1st obstacle, the A417 road full of evening commuter traffic. After playing “Frogger” with the traffic, we all crossed without mishap, & soon headed Southeast downhill across a cropped meadow following a straight footpath. At the bottom was a Check, which enabled regrouping.
GM Silent consulted the map marked up by the Hare, which despite Silent being a prize Orienteer, the marked route somewhat helped the confusion! At this point the bulk of the pack took an impromptu shortcut, with a few stalwarts sticking with the hare’s marked route. We crossed the Hendred Brook, & after an uphill stretch entered environs of East Hendred where we ran along several streets disturbing the peace. The Hare had laid a number of Checks & false trails, which gave the FRBs some energetic work to do, slowing things & so kept the pack more or less together.
An inviting Pub, the Wheatsheaf, was passed, before out into the fields again, skirting Allotments on the way, & entering edge of Woodland. The light was now falling fast at this point, so torches were switched on for the darker parts of the trail. The checks here caused a greater degree of confusion, but map check & consensus eventually got us on the right trail again, before plunging into the denseness of the Woods.
Continuing to follow the Hare’s markings, which at one point were the non-standard consequences of the spilt contents of bag of flour, we re-entered East Hendred passing both Catholic & C of E Churches before the next Check. (Evidently a Religious place is East Hendred!) Some further confusion here with interpretation of the Map; a cunning Check had us taking an obscure path behind the Church before we left East Hendred behind. Well dark by now, at least a trail of lights could be followed by backmarkers. The Hare could see & hear us on his tail, but the darkness shielded him enough to make it back without being caught.
On on across fields, & along tracks until we came to the lower outskirts of West Hendred. Up on the hill the Pub could be seen, lit like a beacon, so thus encouraged we risked life & limb to cross the A417 again & reach the Beer Stop, which was setup adjacent to the Pub.
Pony Express had disappeared probably shortcutting somewhere along the route, as did Gadget in East Hendred. Both had reappeared by the Beer Stop, albeit with the crafty aid of GPS in Gadget’s case, Shagger & La Crease were retrieved from the Bar, so all were accounted for.
The On-In was provided by Shit Stix; as usual it was a really excellent hot soup, with copious supply of bagette pieces, tasty chocolate cakes, + fudge pieces. The usual supply of Crisps, Snacks, & bottled Beers & soft drinks were also available.
The circle was called up by Gadget, & Down-Downs awarded; to the Hare, Dipstick, for a well-laid trail with cunning Checks despite having to be laid live. Also to Shit Stix for a good On-In, & to Scrag End for some offense I didn’t record. Remaining Down-Downs went to Shagger for being Shagger, & Gadget for being the RA with a GPS. A cool breeze was blowing from the SW getting to places unspecified, so Hashers soon disappeared into the warmer reaches of the Pub.
In summary a good trail laid clockwise around the Hendreds by live Hare Dipstick, in diminishing Twilight, with enough Checks and false trails to maintain interest. Mind you the lower temperatures on bare knees were a reminder that Winter was on its way!