Isle of Arran
Yet again GH3 were struggling to find hares and after plying the MASS reprobate regulars with much ale - in The Three Judges - MASS were asked if they would hare.
So GH3 and guests woke up to find themselves in a cottage halfway up the side of Goatfell on Arran.
Ah ha, some of the brighter ones thought, there is only one way the trail can go from here if MASS are haring.
Downhill is tarmac.
But no, the hares for the first half - Mandy and Muff Diver - said to themselves THIS IS MASS and plunged into the 8' high ferns. Thats right these were not your standard Troassach's weeds. Nope. These were full blown fern trees - perhaps escaped from the historic fernery at Brodick Castle a few miles south.
The hares had battled, dug, crawled and bashed a trail through this primeval jungle, leaving enough damage and flour to let the pack find a trail in which they would experience the experience as if they were the first to encounter the scene rather than having the assistance of the hares' excavations.
The intrepid hares took the trail up and down the hill avoiding paths and clearings but sticking doggedly to the almost impassible (and above head hight) ferns. No doubt if the pack had not experienced MASS trails before the odd cynic amoungst them might have thought that the zig and zagging and constant ferns might have meant that the hares were lost and could not actually find the clearings or paths. However, as MASS officinadoes we understand that such a theory would be absoloute bunk and that the debilitating battle with the ferns by the hares was intended. Gee next the cynics will suggest that the hares did not know of the deer path above the bunkhouse up the the clearing above the ferns, Hah, some people just do not understand!
At last, through use of man made geographical features the hares managed to take the trail past the obstacles and through boulder strewn fields to where Hughie and technical and logistical hares had arranged a riverside (Sannox) beer stop.
The pack stopped for beer, water, and then had a game of pooh socks. This involes taking Mandy's socks and shoes and throwing them into the torrent!
The next part of the trail was set by Hughiee so the pack relaxed knowing that they could now conserve energy.
The Sannox was crossed and a gold course skirted as the trail led up out the valley using the site of a quarry railway to get maximum angle and rubbled ground, a trick learned a few months previous at the Aberfoyle trail. Disused quarry railways tend to be less runnable than the nice hillside beside them.
Upon a Limestone mine bing the pack found a check from which they could view south the entire of the Firth of Clyde and Ireland (probably).
Anyway stuff that after much checking the trail was found in the most obvious place, across a fence and up and muddy stream then check again down back on itself to another muddy sheep path before tempting the pack across deer fence styles to find many false trails and back checks.
The trail fell down into the next valley. Being a Glasgow trail it alas had to cross a man made geographical feature before heading (on the North side of a river) to the sea.
Thence a check...... the pack could smell a pub with beer to the south, but also noted the 60' river mouth ah well.....
On the otherside they picked up the trail and after some sand dune bashing came across another and deeper river (the Sannox again) and on the other side was the beer.
Much frivolity and games were held at the river mouth whilst the pack awaited some of the missing adventurors who were to be escorted by the first half/now sweeper hares.
Much beer drunk and people getting wet.
Hughie Blaaaghr, October 2003