What a start to proceedings!?! Overshot stuck for interesting snippets of history regarding Dartmoor – still is only been there for 280 million years. With an almost total absence of virgins, and the only notice being Sticky Bush’s offering of a fund raising party for a hospital in Sierra Leonne (that Derriford work closely with), it was over to the hare.
Pugsley hadn’t had an easy time: What to lay the trail in? He was concerned about the locals (and possibly the sheep) eating a trail laid with flour. Plympton SH3 had recently laid a hash in the same area using sawdust, so the usual alternative was discounted to avoid confusion (confusion on a hash? Unheard of!). So the only obvious alternative was…..… keeping true to the local mining theme……….pebbles (duh!). Of course, there was an outside chance that they’d be confused with the local ‘population’, so he’d coloured them all (water soluble paint)………..but that would have been too easy, so to maintain everyone’s interest (and generate a few arguments) he had gone to the trouble of using different colours. “Trouble of”? or just what was left in his children’s paint set – a worthy sacrifice Ethan & Danny, well done – many thanks from an almost grateful SH4. Colours? well I think it was four colours, but the only ones of any real interest were purple because the collector of the most purple ones would win a prize.
The trail itself was a long long c.7 miles which Pugsley warned should not be attempted if you were usually at the back of the shorts (was that a nice way of warning me off), and/or hadn’t got a torch. There were two other divides (I think, I was already committed to the long) making up a longer short & a short/walkers route.
So it was off up the road towards the dam. The trails were almost independent with the long/short divide coming up almost immediately: The longs taking the route up the service road hill; and the shorts carrying on along the road to the dam. Rear Entry almost immediately ran into canine trouble, getting a hard time on the hill from a white van man for not cleaning up his dog’s shit and not having the pooch on a lead.
The rest of the longs was a long 3 mile slog up the dismantled tramway to Petre’s Cross on Western White Barrow. It was too much for some, particularly with Pugsley’s warning ringing in their ears, and they turned back from whence they’d come. Overshot, concerned about their safety/wellbeing (what a leader) ran back after them and thereby started a long evening of confusion. At the top of the saddle Bit of Rough thought he should go back and check on Overshot, and suddenly we’d got hashers all over the moor on a foggy night.
Others were moved to join them, or was it just to get away from Dim Wit’s moaning? He seemed to have a problem with: The steep long accent; the colour of the pebbles – the purples weren’t purple enough so he picked up rather more just in case; the “O/H” being too far from the CP (well it was all straight on to the CP from the “O/H”). Mind you, he wasn’t the only one with Punctilious having his own whinges, mainly about Lymes disease.
Having crested the barrow, it was a relatively easy, if steep descent to the clapper bridge, before re-joining the shorts at the head of the reservoir, and then a long run back down the eastern side of it.
Tales from the shorts were mainly about a continuous fight through gorse & bracken along the western edge of the reservoir, where Jerk claimed seeing the pebbles was almost impossible.
The on-down was the Pack Horse, South Brent. It was all a bit quiet with some hashers not making it back to the pub, and some still out on the moor looking for each other. Rear Entry stood up as the evening’s RA and asked for comments on the trail which included “two many checks on the longs” two being the actual number of checks in 4 miles, and they were pretty much straight-ons, and praise for the wonderful scenery. The later was probably only seen by the evenings fallers when they actually nose-dived into the ‘nice scenery’. These included Gomez & Twisted Sister, although she hotly disputed it.
As most of the likely recipients of down-downs were not there, or still on the moor, and it wouldn’t have been good form to give himself one for canine troubles, Rear Entry abandoned them completely. A late call from the floor reminded him that Pilt Down Man was due for his 200th T-Shirt which was duly dished out with the promise that the associated down-down would be forthcoming in the near future. So here’s my list of ‘would have been down-downs’:
Pugsley for the trails and having the initiative to lay it using 30kg of pebbles – nutter!
Pilt Down Man for his 200th hash (as someone who seems to have been a character in SH4 for a very long time I’m amazed its only 200).
Dim Wit for moaning.
Ride Along Rick for picking up all the purple stones just to win.
Sticky Bush for safely returning from raves in Ibiza.
On-on to The Pig’s Nose, East Prawle for what needs to be a prompt start (long trail?) WITH TORCHES – cliffs are even less forgiving than the moor.