Run No. 683 26th September 2004
Red Lion, Biggleswade
Ankle Biters: 3
Knitting Circle: 4
This longer approach to hashing follows in the footsteps of early expeditions but with a slight variation. To avoid the long bus drive, we meet at a public house near the centre of the hamlet, mainly to acclimatise in preparation for our ascent of the steep inclines of the Bedfordshire mountain ranges. Two of our expedition team had decamped the previous day to recce the low lying area of calcareous soils and alluvial gravels. These two fine sherpas, known in local dialect as 'hares', soon mapped for us the subtle riverine landscape with its attractive arrangement of old pasture and riverside trees.
The trail they had planned began with a gentle ambulation along the slight ridge formed by chalky glacial deposits to the south east of the town. This had previously marked out a dry route for the Romans whilst building their great north road and later formed a good place for a Saxon settlement.
As we wend our way further south through the glacial moraines, the Jordan peaks come into view. We pause to gather our troops at the Azlan Check, deciding now to split our company for a speedier climb to the Dunton summits. Our less experienced members take the low road to gather necessary sustenance. We hope beyond hope that all of us will survive the extreme climb as we head for the Pylon plethora with gathering storm clouds and winds gusting up to 2 knots.
As we drag our drained souls through the fertile soils that have been used intensively for cereal, field vegetables and market gardening in recent decades, the vista opens up into a cold featureless landscape, distorted only by the soul sucking stench of oats, honey and chocolate roasting in a buiscuity bungle. The screams and moans of the squirrels toiling in the Jordan mines come echoing across the blanched landscapes. We draw sharp breaths and hurry on through.
Further along, the steep rocky inclines flatten out to the mid mountain plains. Here we find unkempt ranging herds of black faced sheep. To aid our navigation, the 'hares' of the region have marked, in their traditional style, a baaaaa check.
We cross the great divide and have an emotional reunion with our other members who have safely traversed the lower pass. With foraging sacks in hand we delightfully skip through the temperate climes picking the fruit of the Black Berry.
As we recount our 7,200 (never much good with decimals) mile megathon, the expedition leaders duly rebate the trail organisers for the usual level of ineptitude and weary muscles are steeped in an alcoholic rub.
Much merriment and chilli was enjoyed by all. ONON