Date: 15th April 2007
Start: 60th & Lex.
Hares: Sideshow Bob & Yellow Smellow
On-in: Dublin House (79th & Broadriver (sic))
And who art thou? said I to the torrential downpour,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:
I am the Eraser of Trails, said the voice of the rain,
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form'd, altogether changed, and
yet the same,
I descend to clear the turns, checks, back checks of the trail,
And all that in them without me were marks truly, visible, purposeful;
And forever, by day and night, I wreak havoc for the pack and hares,
and confuse and bewilder them;
(For hashers, issuing from their pre-lube, after r*nning, wandering,
Reck'd or unreck'd, duly for beer return.)
When you look out of your apartment window, for those that have them, and are greeted by the impenetrable blanket of a torrential downpour two things go through your head:
1. That’s crappy weather: I’m not hashing in that; and
2. I need a beer.
The latter being clearly of greater importance forces you out the door to the start of the trail. “This should be interesting,” I thought. “I wonder if they’ll cop out as Snakebite and Rubberhead did outside the Public Library with their piss poor non-trail back in the mildly inclement weather of February ’06.”
My cynicism was misplaced. A small band of hashers stupid enough to put themselves through this ordeal (Stewa, Mean Jean, Mary, FAD (a late arrival) and myself) were greeted by Yellow Smellow at the Pre-Lube (Subway Bar (60th & Lex)) who informed us that Sideshow was out laying the trail…again.
Good luck with that.
At this point it might be useful to restate exactly how much rain was coming down. The taxi bringing us to the start was close to stalling in knee-high water on the transverse in the Park, with the water lapping against the stones as if they were a harbour wall. Lexington Avenue itself resembled a river more than a road.
Sideshow returned from the trail-setting exercise with a large grin on his face. Sideshow always has a large grin on his face so we couldn’t rely on that jovial expression as any indication as to the enjoyment we might or might not derive from the trail that lay ahead of us.
With a brief flour talk out of the way (best summarised as, “Good luck, guys!”) we were sent on our merry way. The trail basically headed up Lexington River to 72nd Stream where we headed west into Central Lake. The riverbanks were nearly deserted as most people had at least two actively firing neurons in their head which was enough to tell them they shouldn’t bother wading out into the city streets.
The trail headed north along the banks of the East Canal; we past the underpass that goes underneath the East Canal and comes out by the Boathouse. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it had been transformed into a waterfall as the water gushed down, forming a lake that would be up to your chin (well, it would if you were Alice). We passed that by, instead electing to continue following the path up and over the East Canal. From there we headed up Cat Hill and turned left into the Ramble Floodplain. We twisted and turned in the Ramble, crossing the odd bridge where the water level was at the same elevation as the bridge. Undeterred, we ploughed on.
We came out of the Ramble at the West Canal, just south of the 79th Stream Transverse. After some flailing around, we found a speck of flour on a tree to the north which lead us out onto Central Lake West. From there it was a brief swim west and then south to the On-In, the Dublin House (79th & Broadriver)
The Down Downs were unsurprisingly brief as we basically congratulated the Hares on their Herculean achievement and then fabricated some trumped up charges in order to ensure that all in attendance received a Down Down (we’re nothing if not inclusive).
The beer lasted long enough for us to dry off, at which point we all eschewed the pizza option and instead retired to the West Side Brewery for more beers and an entirely civilised meal.
A good time was had by all.