Date: 25th February 2007
Start: 181st St & Fort Washington Ave.
Hares: Devo & Salt Lick
On-in: O'Connell's Pub (108th & Broadway)
Death and taxes are constants upon which we’ve come to rely. The repeated reminders of their existence tell us that all’s well in the universe and nothing has upset the natural order of things.
I think it’s safe for us to add to this short list: Devo’s long trails. When the day comes that Devo sets a short trail, that’s the day to check you’ve got a “Go Bag” handy and that you’ve left all your affairs in order.
The downside of this constant is that, while we’re happy that the sky hasn’t yet fallen on our heads, we’re obliged to put up with Devo’s long trails. It’s a double edged sword, I know; do you prefer the frying pan or the fire?
(Un?)fortunately, today the sky wasn’t going to fall on our heads and Devo wasn’t going to break the habit of a lifetime.
Our merry band of hashers congregated at the corner of 181st and Fort Washington for the chalk talk the length of which was, though unbeknownst to us at the time, inversely proportional to the length of the trail that lay ahead of us. We deposited our gear in Lunch’s salubrious vehicular transportation (after he had carefully inspected it for any hidden pizzas) and headed off in the general direction of the Harlem River.
After flirting briefly with the bridge traffic we began our extended tour of Highbridge Park, complete with eagle trail, icy terrain and trash. This seems to have been the highlight of the trail but more on that when we get to the down downs. After a series of arduous ascents (some hashers had foolishly forgotten their ice climbing crampons; really, what were they thinking?) the trail wound its way out of the bottom of the park and across to the Hudson where we stumbled upon a closed cemetery that had apparently been open when the trail was set. Here the pack fractured somewhat as we plotted various ways around this obstacle. A nameless few (‘cos I don’t remember who they were!) eschewed the dire warnings on the gates and hurdled the otherwise dissuasive fence and ran on through.
From there on in the trail led predominantly south but not without taking in large chunks of Riverbank State Park, Saint Nicholas Park and Morningside Park. A quick dash through Columbia left us on Broadway which we followed south to O’Connell’s Pub. Being several pounds lighter than when we started out, we set about replenishing our lost fluids by drinking copious amounts of beer.
And so to the Down Downs. First up were the hares, Devo and Salt Lick, for their atrocious and yet predictable behaviour. They were closely followed by a number of visitors who, I’m sure, hadn’t realised what they were letting themselves in for on this quiet Sunday afternoon: Quite The Spread from Burlington, VT; Rock Bird (from somewhere Ooop North); Hump Day, Upchuck No F*ck (charming) and Golden Shower from the people’s republic of Canadia; Toronto and Hogtown hashes to be more specific.
There were some virgins but no-one remembers their names and I’m sure they’re never coming back after that trail so no loss there then.
There were some lost & found awards. Fast American Dave managed to find a pot (seriously, it was some heavy cast-iron cauldron which he lugged around for the entire trail; the man’s insane).
Quite The Spread was given a Down Down for managing to lose her camera.
Basia was given a Down Down for managing to find a camera.
Basia also managed to find a handgun on trail and did what any sensible citizen does in such a situation: she waved it about in people’s faces while asking what they thought she should do with it and then proceeded to toss it into a nearby bush and head off in the opposite direction. Strong work.
DB2 received some kind of preventative Smashmouth award (presumably for averting some catastrophe on the treacherous glaciers of Highbridge Park) and, finally, Devo got the well-deserved AOTW award.
Having dispensed with those formalities, we returned to our regularly scheduled programming of drinking beer and eating pizza and took some solace in the fact that, while certainly tiring, Devo’s long trails were marginally less tiresome than either death or taxes.