Saturday, September 28, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,718; 28 September 2013

UPDATE from BC3, with my sincere thanks:

"A smallish group had a convivial time crossing the bridge into Maryland and a really nice walking trail -- paved & wooden in a woods buffer zone... lovely. ...a number of folks were wearing Mufti Appreciation shirts."

It had to be great, right?  Great location, experienced hares, and the weather was good, right?  Anyone have anything to add?  I can't say much, as I was distracted by the talent show at the Kalona Fall Festival, featuring:

Jim from China, who got the crowd on its feet with his amazing beat-box act;

Husband and wife, maybe, doing a Sugarland cover;

A clog dancer performing to some sexier-than-you'd-expect-in-Amish-country song; and

Two quite young and sophisticated boys performing 'Build Me Up Buttercup' with word-perfect intro patter.

So someone's going to need to fill me in...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,717; 21 September 2013

Hands up if you ate so bloody much pizza, in response to Hash Hero Chugger's pleas, that you may never walk again.  Pity, because the walking around Chugger's place in Great Falls is lovely, even in intermittent showers that eventually (as today) settle down to a steady rain.  "We need this rain," Rough Cut pointed out, with truth if not originality.

And certainly the 20 or 25 hashers present today looked revived and refreshed and soaked through as they arrived, pretty well grouped together, back at the cool, dry garage they'd departed an hour or so earlier.  (Incidentally, the group included Mini Schlonga, back from interhashing through Europe.)  Chugger and Phoenix Rising are to thank for taking a lesson from last week and ensuring they placed checks everywhere there needed to be a check, and a few extra places, too.  That diligence kept the pack mostly packed as they raced along a mostly off-road trail.  As promised in the brief, they crossed no major roadways; "Springvale," Chugger clarified, "is not a major roadway."

Someone in this group is thinking, "Oho!  So we head west..."

The walkers split into two about-equal groups, one sticking to pavement (street-walkers, heh heh) while the other headed into the homeowners' association-maintained woodsy trail around a little pond and up a good hill and then the wrong direction somehow or other to miss the second part of the woods trail.  Oh, well.  Kylie and Abby don't like to stay out in the wet too long, anyway.

Back at the garage, there was a spread you wouldn't believe, with fancy sandwiches on seeded bread and ciabatta warm from the oven, and fruit and cheese and chips and homemade cole slaw (very excellent) and other salad-like items...  and those were the appetizers!  Dominos delivered about 1,000 pizzas minutes later, each one a different set of toppings, including fancy things like banana peppers and spinach, and mainstays like ham and pineapple and just pepperoni.  Easy Strider:  "Snausages!" (imagine boyish grin and thrilled intonation).  And only later did the dessert trays come out, laden with pastries.

Plus stacks and stacks of pizzas off the the right somewhere.

Mufti called the roll for this, run number 1717.  Get it?  The double 17s?  Ooooh.  PhR and Chugger and Trish got well-deserved applause, and while I didn't actually hear her, I can't imagine Paint in the Ass didn't urge everyone to make the trek to Maryland next Saturday.  It's a great location for both running and walking, and well worth the trip.

Along about 5pm, with Chugger urging people to take home some leftovers, PhR went out into the wet in his old Volvo to find Spurt.  The expletive-deleting rain had washed away some chalked X's, but not the mistakenly-laid, flour checks those X's were designed to keep people from finding.  So Spurt was way off where he shouldn't have been, and willing to take PhR's taxi service.  Remember, everyone, that sidewalk check is designed to wash away easily.  Anyway, Spurt should have worked up enough of an appetite on all that extra trail to take care of the extra pizza...

Here's what it looked like up until the camera battery died.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,716; 14 September 2013

What a very special treat for the runners:  Gurr's Hill and Oleta's Hill in the same trail.  "Ole Fud insisted we have both," Phoenix Rising explained.  "I don't know what it's called, but there was a hill that was really sucky and it really hurt and I thought I was going to pass out," Blow in the Hole reported.  "That's Gurr's Hill," Ole Fud said with confidence.

So O.F. and Strac insist the trail they set was about four miles, maybe a bit more.  PhR believes that, setting all the false trails, his total run this morning was about six miles.  Every runner who managed the true trail asserts, via GPS reading or just that unpleasant feeling in the lungs and quadriceps, that she or he slogged nine miles, give or take a few tenths.  The term "death march" rattled about the On In.  It was all great fun for the casual observer, heightened by the general gorgeousness of the weather and the specific gorgeousness of the Fuds' landscaping, which soon had even the most exhausted of the pack succumbing to the beauty of Great Falls in the sunshine.

It's a running club.  Someone run!

The group took a bit of time to gather -- this first Saturday thing is so confusing -- but once there were about 30 ready to go, O.F. offered a military brief, with comments on infantry and artillery, and wisecracks from draft-dodger PhR.  Then the pack circled about the first check, tried this way and that way, and eventually more-or-less headed down the driveway.  Chip Off the Old Dick rather brilliantly thought to ask for guidance, and subsequently headed straight out the back gate, shouting, "On on!" until a couple people heard him and the slow turning toward true trail began.  Suck Squeeze Bang leaped out of her car and noted that for once, arriving late paid off.  Through the woods, up the street, and to the third check, at an intersection, for several minutes' milling and jogging long ways in wrong directions and muttering imprecations, before they headed toward Runner Road and another eight miles or so to go.

They're so small.  How much shoulder do they need?

The walkers, meanwhile, splintered:  some headed down the drive and along the paved pathways; others followed instructions and the runners' trail as far as Arnon Chapel, whose dog-unfriendliness inspired a few 180-degree turns.  It took a while, but eventually everyone met up again, with a handful of sitters and latecomers, on the deck, where Felicity served up a perfectly-dressed quinoa salad and a pasta salad that were ideal for the weather.  PhR chose the beer, so it was heavy on IPAs and Yuenglings.

The Mufti called the roll:  double ones and double fours for Zipperhead (1144, you see), and 99 to the cup for John, Jay and Mike.  Politicking madly, the Mufti insisted his "and a great run"s were offered "with trepidation," but cheers resounded through the quickly cooling air.

Still figuring out the new camera; rather overexposed photos are on view here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,715; 11 September 2013

Boring, boring, boring.  That’s pretty much what you get when you try to set a fast trail with reliable artificial light throughout, and that’s pretty much what you need for the last Wednesday Hash of the summer.  The On-In is incrementally less fun, for some people at least, if someone remembers that so-and-so and someone-else were both here at the start but aren’t here at the end, and must be flailing around somewhere in the dark woods without any beer.  Hence, true eagle trail tonight was 3.75 miles of almost all pavement, with large, bright and frequent Ons.

It was a lousy day for setting -- hot and humid with baking sun -- but an okay evening for running and walking -- a little less hot, still very humid, and a bit of color with the sunset.  The pack totaled 25, and took advantage of the two-mile and three-mile splits, with usual suspects going the full distance, which totaled over five miles thanks to the gas station/repair shop parking cars on top of the hash marks.  Sheesh.  Plus, a few of what Phoenix Rising was so kind as to refer to as 'devious' backchecks.

False, but lighted and paved, trail at the start.
Valiant skipped the trail completely, not realizing that it is his voice that resounds in my head as I set, admonishing, "Hares should understand that these little blobs of flour just aren't good enough."  There were some really big blobs on this trail, Valiant, though of course not as big as the impressive catalba tree? or something like that? he found in the local nature preserve.

Most everyone was back before full dark, but the flashlight came out soon after to help improve beer-label viewing.  Supper was a variety of bean-and-rice and chicken-and-rice casseroles, with a few warm cookies and two outlandish chocolate cakes for dessert.  The cakes were courtesy of the Oral Advocate, who discovered them when he stopped for a biking-break at Great Harvest and thought them so good he drove back there to purchase a pair.  A kind contribution to the hash indeed, and even kinder when be-candled in celebration of my birthday last week.  You know, if you sing along with the hash birthday carol ("Happy birthday to me," etc.), it doesn't sound nearly so bad as if you just listen.

Mufti's roll call revealed the double 4s for Gale, and 1144 for Rrocks Starr, #3 for Rachel, and.......  #199 for the Duck Sucker.  There was a meeting of the executive committee, from which a new name for Suck Squeeze Bang arose.  She may be called either Wait, Wait or Just a Minute based on her contributions to this naming session.  The Duck Sucker will definitely be renamed [redacted] at the next meeting of the GFH3.

Welcome home and thanks for the cake!

By the way, this all took place in McLean, where the Veggie Wedgie (what a dumb name) hared and hosted all alone.  I'm still figuring out the fancy new camera.  It looks like it's smarter than I am, but this is the best it could do for pictures.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,714; 4 September 2013

Most of tonight's 31 hashers made it to the Duck Sucker's by 6:30, though traffic was certainly a bit icky.  But oh such a good thing they did, as those woods -- and co-hares Dances with Bulls and Zipperhead made the most of the woods, and even more of the river -- get darned dark once the sun starts thinking about setting.  Despite a challenging inlet/waterfall crossing, however, everyone (except maybe Severely Last, but his consistency in living up to his name is scarcely news) made it back to the house before losing the light entirely.

Now, about that water crossing:  apparently there was a turkey/eagle split, and turkeys got water while eagles got rocks.  However, I think everyone except Chip Off the Old Dick made it to the promontory near the waterfall where a big rock on one side of the inlet bore two large floury arrows pointing toward a big rock on the other side of the inlet, which bore two large floury arrows pointing toward dry ground.  Pickled Peter barely hesitated before wading in to water that ran almost waist-high.  Easy Strider and INDY turned around and headed back into the woods, emerging on the rocky crags, or craggy rocks, just in front of the waterfall and stepping carefully across to scrabble up onto a ledge where two folks we don't know were embracing.  The embracers scrabbled down and walked purposefully away, and the rest of the pack split about evenly between dry and wet crossing.


And where were the walkers?  No clue -- they had a recommended trail leading to the waterfall, but other than Chris and Gale, it's unclear whether anyone made it there.  Fortunately, anywhere you ramble in Scott's Run is bound to be lovely and at least mildly challenging.

Challenges accepted earned their reward at the On In, where fancy sandwiches imported from Georgetown were waiting, garnished with excellent kalamata olives.  Zipperhead apparently chose the beverages:  several connoisseurs rated the beer as 'swill;' no complaints noted ref: the wine.  There may be a theme emerging...

SSB took this one; that's why it's so artistic.

There was probably dessert and there were certainly chips, but I got caught up in roll-calling and water-volleyballing and neglected to investigate.  For the third time this lifetime, the Mufti entrusted me with the official roll, and so far I haven't left it in a flood zone or anything.  The responsibility fell to the assistant associate Mufti this week as the Mufti is vacationing in Duck or someplace like that, whilst the associate Mufti has decamped, with three tubs of Vaseline and a large box of bandages in assorted sizes, to the land of his ancestors (viz: Italy).  Nothing terribly exciting in the roll, though Rachel returned for run #2 and a stellar performance in the volleyball court ('in' not 'on' as the court is in the swimming pool).

And the weather was perfect.  Thanks to Suck Squeeze Bang (19 runs to a new name!) and Blow in the Hole for photos, which you can see here.

To Bea or Not to Bea hospitalized

Please check your e-mail for news about Bea.  If the e-mail didn't reach you (Air Horn, Brogue Bait will have the info on your behalf), please contact me.