Now having been a member of the HWH3 SCS for many years, I have witnessed or been party to many a fine cock-up when it comes to negotiating the short trail.
Notable incidents include the run from The Hampden Arms when, being unsure of the correct path, we consulted Aud's gizmo and, having seen clearly on it the pub, we plotted a route back to it only to find out that it was the wrong one! We duly staggered on in at 9.45 having covered many miles.
There have been many occurrences of taking the wrong trail to end up doing far more than the allotted distance and, perhaps the all-time gem was when Mike set a "short" which was actually longer than the "long".
However, in terms of a beginning-to-end shambles, Tuesday's run took the biscuit!!
Having been briefed as to the start point of the flour by the hare, what could possibly go wrong? After a short wait for Lady Radnage who had arrived late, we duly trotted along the Amersham Road to the point at which the white stuff was supposed to be in evidence.
It is true that we did find a check, it fact two, but the on on from here seemed to have disappeared and so we took the first of many wrong footpaths only to emerge a bit further down Amersham Road. With much head scratching and confusion setting in, Rob boldly stated that if we whack on down the main road towards Chesham, we could take a footpath through Hilbury Wood to get back on trail.
We legged it down the road with Mike's doom-laden prediction that we were heading inexorably for Chesham High Street ringing in our ears as well as his shouts of JUDY, JUDY, JUDY!!!! as he tried to attract the attention of his other half who was steaming ahead with Rob in what he was convinced to be entirely the wrong direction.
After more consultations, we eventually reached the track through Hilbury Wood and, after emerging from said wood, actually found a check – Yippee we thought as we followed the trail under the railway and down to Chesham Moor where Maggie spotted an arrow pointing along the river Chess.
We arrived at a check – Woo Hoo, still on track we thought and, following another meeting, or not, of minds we decided to truck on which, after much misgiving, proved to be a winner as we eventually arrived at a nondescript pile of flour which had obviously been badly treated by someone or something.
Amazingly still on the trail, we arrived at Bois Moor Road and then hung a left over the railway line up into Bois Wood where we arrived at the long flight of steps up to St.Leonard Church where, after another board meeting, we realised that we had gone too far and retraced our steps to run up through Long Park, then Laurel Court to arrive at the edge of Chesham Bois Common.
"Ooh goody" said Judy, we are nearly back," Here we go, here we go, here we go" we all chorused as we trotted on passing the pond which we all knew was only a short pull from the pub.
Unfortunately, it was at this point that it all went quite horribly wrong with your beloved shorts for some inexplicable reason failing all logic tests and electing instead to go completely in the wrong direction down Bois Lane heading directly away from the pub.
We jogged on, brains disengaged, going along one residential road after another, I know not where, until coming across a friendly local who gave us a clue as to which way to go to discover where we should have been in the first place. Another long trot along a seemingly endless road eventually led to a junction where, with shops – yes those not too far from the pub – in sight to the left, we elected instead to go right. Another right clanger!!
Another local, who was trying to get past us and into his drive, was pleaded with for directions. At this point the longs hove into view and, having some idea of where they were going, did not elect to follow us down the latest of our "long cuts".
Eventually, deep joy as we emerged battered and bemused on Chesham Road and staggered off back to the Boot & Slipper. The full extent of our circumnavigation was evidenced by Kerry declaring that we had covered 5.02 miles instead of the allotted 3.5.
Back at base, Roger thanked himself for an excellent run, Hawkeye gave out loud warnings as to the water content of the beer, the chips duly arrived and Dick was awarded the Tosca although, in the hubbub, I know not what for.
Thanks to our GM for what would have been an excellent run if we had actually found/stayed on the trail. But that's hashing!!