Run 1278 - The Black Horse Checkendon

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Not to be out done by the poetry of last week’s scribe I thought a quote from Albert Camus a perfect description for the setting for today’s hash.  We joined Berkshire out at Checkendon.  At c5° there were coats, hats and gloves in abundance for the briefing despite the glorious sunshine.  And why did Zorro carry a double-headed axe for the whole hash?

We set off down the lane towards Checkendon and the first check then cut left up beside the pub and towards Scot’s Farm.  Scrumptious had arrived a little late and was bringing up the rear with Lemony.  At the next junction in the paths they found themselves as a pristine check.  “Where’s everyone else?”  “Where have they all gone?” “What do you mean?  You’re FRBs.”  This seemed rather odd.  Then a friend of Scumptious appeared in the distance saying it had been called on.  So we turned left and followed the path to the next gate.  Scrumptious had stopped for a chat so Zorro and Lemony, ably supported by Weirdo, set off across the field.  The blobs of flour were obvious but the calling had to be done in semaphore because the locals had asked us to be quiet around the pedigree horses in the fields who had been scared by the fireworks the night before.  At the far side of the field we found the split for Walkers and Runners.  The 3 intrepid Didcotters then ran round the field looking for a way out, only to get back to the entry point and find a large arrow and an even larger W pointing into the field.  “That wasn’t there just now!” So they turned left and followed the footpath through a field wondering if they were going to have a lonely run.  At the gate onto the road they were met by Florence who pointed them across to the next footpath and explained that they had lost the majority of the hounds and TT2 had gone back to the pub to look for them.  She promised they wouldn’t make us run all the long checks which they had laid for the faster runners amongst the Berkshire pack.

We turned right at Judges’ Road and headed towards Whitehall and straight across the road.  At the next junction we found the check had already been kicked out…..  At the next gate we saw a crowd ahead.  We had caught up with the main pack and could have a breather as we queued to go through the gates.  The trail skirted 3 sides of Checkendon Court and headed north for a Regroup and a Hash View of the power station to make the visitors feel at home.  We turned left towards Wheeler’s Farm and then climbed up to Brazier’s Common and down the other side.  The ground was covered with a carpet of golden leaves and all was quiet apart from the heavy breathing.  We turned north then back east before tracking north again towards Garsons Farm and up to a steep climb to Yewtree Brow and down the other side to Scot’s Farm.  Here we met some walkers and marvelled at how perfectly the hares had planned the different routes to converge so near the pub.  But no.  The walkers we found had been going round in circles and were lost!  We crossed the road and turned off left into the trees again, soon arriving at the On Inn. 

I think there were at least 5 different hashes going on from the number of groups returning to the pub and Ringer must have short cutted at least 4 times to appear in front of Hotlips so often. But everyone made it back to the pub and enjoyed the cake that Piscine Down had brought to celebrate her birthday. 

I had to leave early so don’t know if Didcot got any down downs. 

An excellent trail and lovely to catch up with our Berkshire friends once again.

Hares: Florence, Zebedee and TT2

Didcot Hounds:  Wierdo, Eric, Piscine Down, Zorro, Pressganger and Qualcast, Scrumptious, Lemony Snickett, Hotlips, Big Stiffy, A Cruel Joke, Henry V, Professional Peach and 2 dogs, Baby Slapper, Tank Slapper, CS, Pyro and Whisper, Gnome Alone, Cheap Date, Swallow, Scribbler, Ringer and Tinkerbell

Date: 6 November 2016

Distance: 5.75 miles (runners), 3 miles (walkers)