October 7th – TLS (Trails Like Shit?) and Warthog – #1314
Start: Sam’s Club, 2901 Clairmont Road NE, Atlanta 30345
Despite the large pack gathered at the start of the run once the hounds were let loose the crowd dissipated immediately as the first glimpse of flour looked to lead us straight through a thicket and down into the murky waters of a creek below. A brave few followed by Martha Screw-It ventured down the bank and disappeared to check for flour, never to be seen again. The rest of the hounds wandered confused at the top waiting for the sounds of an On-On! before splitting into several hunting parties trying to find trail elsewhere. Most of the pack seemed to charge off up the road to where they assumed the creek would eventually emerge, while Coffee Bean, Ouch! and the more cautious amongst us held back and peered along the creek trying to spy evidence of more trail.
With no sign of Hashers splashing their way through the creek below we were suspicious and Ouch! decided to take it upon herself to investigate the water more closely. More closely, as in unintentionally going swimming with the fish. Her description of events as she inched down the bank hoping to have found an easier route down went something like this:
“Kudzu! Kudzu! Kudzu! Creeeeeek!!!! *splash!!!*”
She tumbled topsy turvy into the water up to her neck, watched and cheered on by the more timid hounds still deliberating about the trail above.
Her bravado did not go unrewarded, soon she was able to confirm our fears and the remainder of the pack slid, tumbled and careened down the bank to join Ouch! and the trail in the water. Being dubious did pay off too as instead of following the creek down river to the left as everyone else seemed to have assumed as they had raced off down the dry road, the trail actually went beneath one double bridge and then doubled back on itself to take us upstream instead.
Being British I rolled up my running trousers to the knees and went paddling, it seemed the right thing to do. Up stream we chugged and very refreshing it was with the cold water squishing between the toes.
Eventually it was time to depart the water and haul ourselves back up the bank to dry land. Here, I’m not convinced we were on trail but instead simply trying to follow the path of least resistance through the tangled briars. The rest of the hounds long gone I followed Ouch! and together we eventually made it out of the tangle alive.
Next came a bit of running beneath a bridge which was home to guy camped out amongst piles of rubbish, through more shiggy, and finally we emerged out back onto the streets of North Atlanta. As we traipsed through this hidden wilderness I enquired as to whether they’d ever come across a dead body whilst Hashing. I wasn’t expecting the response to be “yes!”
Ouch! and I plodded onwards managing to keep to trail until a pack of oncoming lost hounds caused consternation. They’d come across a YBF (You’ve Been Fecked) and lost trail. Cue hounds milling around certainly. Ouch! and I decided that despite this set back we were certain we had still been on trail, so ignoring protestations we continued onward and were proved right. The lost Hashers must have been shortcutting cheats and come across the YBF from the wrong direction and made a bad assumption that the trail we were on was a deceitful one. Ouch! and I were joined by Crip Teaser and On-On! we trudged.
A sight for sore eyes was the Beer Near when we finally got there. It was a complete lie though as there was no beer thanks to the thirsty hounds who’d preceded us. Dammit! The hares were just pulling away as we arrived, but stayed long enough to say that it was now a mere mile to the end and to direct us to take the path thataway and then follow the electric line. I never saw trail again. We took the hares directions, got to the electric line couldn’t see how to traverse down what looked like a tall bank into the valley below.
Thus followed an eternity of traipsing along completely lost with no idea as to where I was headed. Ouch! thankfully seemed to know where she was going and had a mobile, but then in a fit of pure insanity I somehow ended up on the other side of Buford Highway (very very busy four lane main road) from her, and with House of Boobs and a bunch of Carolina Trash Hash, who lived up to their name by swiping any comedy items that crossed their path.
So it was that eventually I made it to the On Down in company of runners wearing sashes made from yellow “caution” tape, carrying a large rainbow coloured garden windmill and pushing a BBQ. This had borne the sign “Free and it works!” but that was now adorning one hounds boobs.
Special mention also goes to Furry Balls who kept surprising me by running ahead, but somehow appearing back behind us and overtaking once more, or crossing our path from weird directions. Most memorable being on the home stretch when his little yellow t-shirt came crashing out of the hedge up in front and screaming “On-On!” he tore down the road to the On Down!