7th November - Haldon Belvedere - Stat Nav

Cars start filling up the rather small car park and new hashers arriving check to see who they can block in, and which cars belong to "normal people" and therefore need to be able to get out. We are, infact, honoured that the hare was there at all, as he had been planning to set from the wrong car park (the one that costs £2 for the privilege of a bit of tarmac) until a chance remark to Tuned-In had him scuttling around to change the route to fit in with the correct, advertised car park. New rules set by the Rangers mean that we are supposed to pay a levy if there is an organised group of more than 15 using the forest, so instructions were given to split up, look inconspicuous and claim we were ramblers, if questioned at all en-route. Also a Long Short split was cunningly planned for just before the aforementioned car park so we wouldn't all go through together, and no calling please! This was to prove problematic later, but more of that later.
Off we went into the woods up the long forest track. Spocky easily taking the lead as he had the benefit of wheels today, following the hash on his bike, with Itzy Bitz directing from the rear. Some excuse about blisters after a tiny little stroll on Dartmoor last weekend, or something like that! A small detour up a little gunnel covered with slippery cut branches, only to come straight back down to the main track again. Cannily the knitting circle managed to avoid this and remained on the track throughout. On a bit further to the first Long Short split. Dobby mistook the direction of the arrow and was disappearing off in the wrong direction until called back. The intrepid longs then went down through the scrub until we came out on a lovely biking track. Two kind bikers let us go first (not sure that was a good idea - surely wheels are faster than legs?) and off we went - getting a little strung out by here, the faster longs disappearing in the distance and the slower ones plodding along. I made it to the dodgy car park area with no-one in sight either in front or behind. I couldn't call as that would draw attention to myself, and there wasn't an awful lot of flour around for obvious reasons. I eventually chanced upon the right track and caught up with Stat Nav who was gallantly bringing up the rear. PP and FF are still to come, but where were they. Stat Nav decides to go back to find them. This might prove a little slow, however, as Stat Nav was walking carrying Radio Ga Ga in her sleek transportation device.
On a bit further and a check seemed to be catching the front runners out. A lot of loitering was going on, Up Yours claiming that she thought it was a hash halt as the dog had been sitting in the middle of the check! Fruity finally found the on down a tiny watery track and around the fence line - the first bit of shiggy on this hash. At least this gave time for PP and FF to catch up, they also had been going round and round the car park trying to look inconspicuous!
Then, hooray! It was the sweetie stop. To get to this sweetie stop, there was a small ditch to cross. This proved interesting on the bike, didn't it Spocky! Who promptly fell off and deposited Itzy Bitz in the mud! Perhaps two wheels aren't better than two legs afterall? Another long short split after the re-group - only 4 souls attempted this, Dobby and Paperwork again way out in front up the hill, with myself (Sorepoint) plodding along behind, then being overtaken extremely quickly by Wide Receiver who had got a burst of energy by passing off Free-Rider to FF for a while. I eventually re-joined the trail with Stat Nav waiting for me, ably doing his sheepdog impersonation and rounding up all the stragglers. On to the viewpoint then on back to the car park. Unfortunately this is where Stat Nav realised that his sheepdogging had failed, as he'd lost Millie and was despatched by Tuned In to go and find her. Isosolese produced bags and bags of windfall apples to share, which made Up Yours very happy indeed and meant she could stay married for another year! Turns out that she had a pre-nuptial agreement with Slip Shod which simply stated she had to make him apple pie for the rest of his life, and in return he would stay married to her! We have yet to find out what he has to do in return??
The squircle was called and fines were duly given out. Can't remember them all, but they included Bag Lady for bad map reading and being unable to find the car park, Spocky for using nerd names for his daughter on the hash (I HOPE he didn't!) and Paperwork for insulting normal people. It turns out someone had admired his Black Death Tshirt around the route, and thinking of being generous he asked which of 3 girls had spoken, as it was a small T shirt and only one of the 3 looked like sylph like enough. When being told it was one of the larger ladies mouth got started without brain being engaged and he blurted - "it won't fit you!" and ran off. (This is not the first time he has made this sort of gaffe - is it Chesty/Jenny??)(No and it hasn't been forgotten, or forgiven either!!! - ED) Luckily he was able to make some sort of amends when meeting the girls again later, he did in fact strip off his Tshirt and present it to them. Why they would want a sweaty Tshirt is anyone's guess.
Most hashers then wended their way onwards for their Sunday amusement. Except for Isosolese, who had sustained a puncture and had to stay and change his wheel. Thanks to Stat Nav, Groucho and I think a couple of others for helping a damsel in distress!

OnOn to the AGM next week. Pines Ridge Car Park for the trail, then on back to the Bitz residence for AGM. Please all bring a bit of something to eat.
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