August 29, 2007
Hare: Dave Arthur
Start: West 4th and 6th Ave.
On In: Jake’s Dilemma (80th and Amsterdam)
It was another hot summer night with lots of virgins, but also a virgin hare setting trail all by his lonesome…the result was not pretty folks, not pretty at all.
As usual, yours truly showed up late, in this case too late to hear the chalk talk. It probably didn’t, but in hindsight should have went something like this:
Virgin Hare Dave: Well folks, we got real doozy of a trail tonight! I hope you brought your flashlights and whistles to alert the authorities when you’re hopelessly lost under the West Side Highway! Also, if you give up after 45 minutes or so, I don’t recommend returning to the start to check the on-in, as it’s a 7 or 8 mile one way trail!
Pack: Great, Dave! Let’s go!
Anyway, the trail set off wandering around the Village, with the first checks hard to solve, though that’s not unusual. What was unusual was that a pack of 40 or 50 (though about 1/3rd virgins I suppose) r*nning in ever expanding circles around a check couldn’t find any marks after, oh, 15 minutes or so. Finally, as twilight was deepening, one eagle-eyed group found the trail headed toward the Hudson and packmarked accordingly, with the rest of us eventually following along. At this point the trail wasn’t great, but our hare had plenty of opportunity to redeem himself. Alas and alack, this was not the case…instead the trail proceeded northward along the Hudson for mile after mile, with pretty much no light to be had other than those streetlights. Unfortunately, the trail continued past 59th along the river, at which point the streetlights end. As an aside, I can tell you that on a subsequent solo r*n I was making a few days later I noticed that the trail of that night actually made quite a few zigs and zags around some nice areas in this stretch…unfortunately without lighting we could see nary a mark.
At this point, some of us have only ourselves to blame, because the smallish FRB group I was in came upon a chicken-eagle split, and immediately followed the eagle. Hopefully those ‘following’ the chicken had an easier time. The eagle trail continued north, where not one but two more challenging (in daylight that is, more like ‘don’t-try-this-at-home-kids’ in nighttime) checks kept us out for a bit longer.
Finally, everyone (I hope) straggled into the on-in, Jakes Dilemma. For a change, Dave had handed off the hash cash collecting to a bouncer. This was most definitely unconventional, but since the hash cash lasted a good long time I suppose I shouldn’t complain.
The circle was a raucous affair, with FMIG having to continually bellow “hash hush” over the chattering throng and loud music filtering in from the front. I most likely missed some down-downs, so I apologize in advance. In a rare tribute to hash tradition, a bag of ice was brought forward for the hare to sit on during the circle, extremely appropriate given the circumstances. He had the first down-down. The second round went to he and Trailmaster Joe Pennsylvania for allowing the travesty to occur. Joey P. was up again, given an anti-smashmouth award for reporting a fall by Hot Rod. A pack of virgins, too many to name, c*me and drank next. There were a few visitors hardy enough to finish the trail as well, I think from San Francisco and Atlanta. An announcement was made concerning the recent unfortunate incident in New Haven, where the hare was arrested for using flour to set trail through an IKEA parking lot, and a collection hat was sent around. Also, a red dress was auctioned off, with the proceeds similarly going to said hare’s defense fund. There were a few new shoes, including a virgin, Doggie Style, and Redheaded Steve. The AOTW went to virgin hare Dave of course, who had to drink from a pitcher for his troubled trail.
As mentioned previously, the bar deal was handled untraditionally, but appeared to be a good one, as trays of bar food continued to be brought up throughout the night. Even Lunch couldn’t keep up. Similarly, the beer was flowing long into the evening, which always dulls the pain of an awful trail.