There was unusually good turnout for this latest version of a shitty Psychodrunk trail. Perhaps it was the sunny, slightly warm weather, or maybe the hashers couldn’t find better plans for the day. Those hoping for some margin of improvement over his typical trail included Captain Jack Swallow, Train Boner, Puddles the Puppy Pounder, Chainsaw Assacre, Bent Over Board, Sushi Cow Girl, Texas T-Bag, NFN Juri, NFN Dan, NFN Jesse, NFN Liz, NFN Randy, and NFN Dana.
Everyone gathered at the Yonkacho MacDonald’s at 1300 before catching the Matsuura Railways departure from Sasebo Chuo Station up into the hinterlands. About four stops later, the train pulled into Senpukuji Station for chalk talk and the start of the run. After a brief hash flash on the north side of the station (aka platform with no roof), the hare was away on Run #455 around 1400. In keeping Sasebo HHH traditions, the pack gave the hare a full 12-min head start (Oops! Did I say H*ad?) followed by 3-min of walking, which still proved to be insufficient lead time for Psychodrunk.
From the station, the Psychodrunk took the trail west across the tracks, along a drainage ditch and through a typically narrow westward bound street towards Route 35 (see map). The pack ran right in front of a group of stray kittens just before the drainage ditch, but somehow Chainsaw managed to refrain from “adopting” yet another one. At the intersection of Route 35 and Route 498, Psycho took the pack through a pedestrian tunnel, then west, then south and eventually up a foot trail that led into the forested mountain on the west side of Setogoshi-Cho.
The trail uphill through the forest was marked only with toilet paper “hash” hung from tree branches. There was no existing foot trail for the pack to use as then crawled, slipped, and clawed their way upward through loose soil, tree leaves and the occasional Coca Cola bottle left by previous generations. After the hill leveled out a bit, Psychodrunk was soon snared in the middle of the forest by NFN Jesse and Chainsaw. The pack slowly gathered amid the dead branches, and live mosquitos, waiting for the traditional 5-min to pass away.
Once again, the pack was off!... still upward, through the shiggy, protected from the day’s bright sunshine under the forest canopy. After another three minutes or so of clawing their way upwards, the hare was once again caught on an extremely steep slope, still in the forest. The pack gave him another h*^d start, but before this additional five minutes was up, Psychodrunk returned to the pack to ask for directions. Having none to give, everyone braved the gauntlet of mosquitos yet again to give Psycho time to make a decent trail.
After pulling on tree roots, branches, and avoiding the occasional falling rock, the pack eventually arrived on somewhat of a forest plateau near the top of Mt Maedake. A few meters to the south, Psycho guided everyone to a long lost Pacific War era Imperial Army battery overgrown with trees. Everyone took a look inside the structure, fortunately without encountering too many creepy crawlies. Despite the constant buzz of mosquitos hovering around, Psycho took a brief rest near the tunnel entrance. (I don’t recall Indiana Jones ever stopping to take a rest….) Amazingly, only a few spiders had bothered to make spider webs through the forest, and the mamushi were not yet ready to come out and play. Still, inside the tunnel, several people noted that the walls were “moving”.
After 15-minutes or so of exploration at the battery, the pack followed the trail clockwise around the plateau, then downward through a series of seldom used hiking trails to the very much appreciated beer stop. Sushi Cow Girl and Texas T-Bag joined the pack a few minutes later, after following a retaining wall from the first battery to a much larger (artillery?) battery that appeared to be from the “Betcha Didn’t Know” series of AFN commercials. Given the dangers of numerous uncovered manholes in the area, and a strong desire for, detailed exploration of the site was postponed to a future date.
All members of the pack gradually arrived at the beer stop, but it seemed to take forever for Capt Jack Swallow and NFN Juri to arrive. Sushi Cow Girl climbed back up the hill, into the forest to help them find their way, and eventually they too made it to the beer stop.
From the beer stop, the trail descended southward onto paved roads that meandered through farms and neighborhoods. After a half hour or so, the trail passed over Sasebo River near City Hall, then to the northwest entrance of the Yonka-cho Arcade where it took a bee line for Sasebo Chuo Station.
Depending on their individual state of exhaustion, hashers either sat down, or sprawled out on the pavement in front of the station. Psycho explained to several passers-by in Japanese that these strange people lying about were not dead, but were merely resting. Eventually, a hermit type lady with a wheeled walker returned to her shanty under the MR track, forcing the hashers to clear a path. Upon departing from her house a few moments later, she remarked to the pack in English: “You should be ashamed of yourselves!”
With most of the pack at the finish, we took that as our cue to relocate. During the walk to Nimitz Park, we passed by Kyosai Hospital where a woman in a wheel chair asked in Japanese if ODS was among us. Sushi Cow Girl explained that ODS was still recovering from the previous night.
At Nimitz Park, the pack assembled under a pavilion and did their best to help the Veterans Group finish their Memorial Day keg of MGD. Mechanical malfunction of the tap apparently prevented the last drops of brew from getting out of the keg. Hashers did their best to form a circle amongst the picnic tables of the pavilion to go through the customary accusations, and find a good hash name for NFN Dan. After much questioning, pondering, and verses of “Free Beer for all the hashers…” NFN Dan was named “Free Ball Friday” in reference to his ability to make 2 sets of tighty whiteys last for four days out of a five day TDY.
Noteworthy infractions included Capt Jack Swallows being called out for finding a human skull on trail, and failing to bring it to the hash treasure box; and Still Borne Ranger was called out for loitering around Sasebo after having fuc*ed off the week prior. Hashers helped take down and fold the flags before moving to the second stage down-down at New Makati where the Flounder eventually caught up with the hash survivors.
On On, Texas T-Bag