On arrival the generous-sized car park was filling up fast. Looking in the pub we saw an arrows match in full swing. After milling around talking about what a mild evening it was, Alan gave us the basics (5.5/3.5 etc) and signalled us left down Shire Lane before anyone had an outrageous misfortune with an arrow.
At the check on the corner we went forward on the Lane which then became a path. On we trundled along the Bucks/Herts border to Roberts Lane where we went straight on to a check by the M25. We gave the traveller site a wide berth, crossing the motorway instead.
Leaving Roberts Lane for the Shire Lane path we continued along the border to a re-group. At this long/short split the shorts, led by G4Girl, were dispatched into darkest Hertfordshire and the longs instructed to decide their own on-backs. Was this just hare malaise or was B4Boy still fatigued after too many on-backs last week?
We continued on the border to the 60mph A412 and got safely across. Then we wound between the lakes to the Grand Onion and along the towpath with its industrial estate and chemical whiffs. Arriving at the Coy Carp the trail went sharply left. This was welcome as we would otherwise have headed into the sewage works. Back we went through more lakes to the old road, heading for Maple Cross. D4Dog had attempted skating earlier in the day but seemed none the worse for wear.
As we trudged up the old road I thought my double vision was returning. It was just that Poppy had brought her sibling. Shortly we swung left and crossed the 412 again onto a muddy track. At this point we saw that Kevin and [who else?] had joined us after a lonely jog. This brought us to a second long/short split where where Alain admitted that the two trails were the same length. The longs went straight and shortly swung left, heading for the Sun Club at Horn Hill Court. All hares kept their clothes on, saving any embarrassment when we arrived back at the pub.
This was the part I was looking forward to for obvious reasons, also because of the enigma that is the Dumb Bell. By all accounts it's a very popular establishment that has been known to have a beer problem and was targeted by the BBC's Rogue Restaurants. On tasting a couple of their ales, including "Stuff it" (aka Turkey) it was determined that all was well in that department.
Then came the pub's piece de resistance, the food. This time it was pizza and chips in generous proportions which were gratefully consumed. See next week's trash for the results - I'm optimistic.
It being his time of the month, Roger awarded awards standing perilously near a dart board. Judy had run 50 hashes since last week - quite an achievement. Anyway, the cost of T-shirts being what it is Roger had obtained two very small ones which Judy can use as gloves or leg-warmers.
Many thanks to Alan and Sandra for another great Tuesday evening.