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28 June 2015
BIG MOUNTAIN – Farewell Mountain Goat & Hashputin
It was a good turnout, in equally (and surprisingly) good weather, for Mountain Goat & Hashputin's last run with VTH3 after an amazing 15 years (actually "son of Hashputin", but who's counting?).
Appropriately enough, we set off for Mountain Goat's favourite "clump of dirt": Big Mountain - on which she's set many memorable and challenging trails in the past.
The main pack reached the big pagoda unscathed, only to find that the FRBs had already gone through - so off we went, having been advised to keep quiet because the monks were in prayer.
On the other side there was a choice of two trails - straight up the mountainside and around, or straight ahead and around. Some chose the former, and some the latter - then "On On" we went.
Most of us met again at the familiar plateau crossroads, where more choices were available - around and down, down and around, or down, up and down(!). Some 20 minutes or so later, we met again at the top of the slippery slope down to the White House (nominated mountain exit route).
It was a staggered arrival back at SB4, but everyone finally made it "home".
Duty Ringmaster SamSon called the Circle and invited - who else? - Mountain Goat, to rate the trail. Aided and abetted by resident translator Superteen, the now "fully glammed up" Hasher, Hare, Foodie and lovely person Mountain Goat awarded 9/10, noting that we'd done the trail three years ago when SH3 paid us a visit.
Hash Virgins Ms Thuan, daughter Miss Tu and Mr Tam were next; followed by returnee Ronald Reagan. Then six sinners - for misdemeanours real and imagined (including Mountain Goat for wearing six-inch heels!) - were followed by five illustrious visitors who had come along to help farewell MG: OXO & Oopso (UXO arrived later), Anti, KFC and Yuri (Mr Mountain Goat); who were in turn followed by Mother Teresa who took a bow on behalf of "the Foodies".
And then it was "Showtime": Mountain Goat was invited back into the Circle to receive various accolades about her ever-present good humour and willingness to help whenever and wherever it was needed - and an album containing 120 sample photos from every run in which she participated in the past 15 years that we have on file, plus a USB memory stick containing more than 600 of her run photos in total. We hope the memories will help "fill the void" until she (hopefully) returns one day!
And then it was time for the Russian picnic prepared by - who else? - Mountain Goat! Much feasting, drinking and socialising followed until the black night sky turned even darker with rainclouds. It had been a lovely day - albeit tinged with sadness at the departure of such a popular VTH3 ever-present as Mountain Goat, but that's life in the Hash: enjoy your time with everyone you meet because they could be gone tomorrow!
STOP PRESS (Friday): KFC and Basil are setting a trail on Nui Dinh (5 km west of Ba Ria) for Sunday - so don't forget insect repellent, and a hat and plenty of water if it's hot. And don't worry if it looks like rain - the Hash runs in any weather!
700th run t-shirt orders have now closed. Shirts will be held for everyone who placed an order, and the remainder will be available for purchase (120k VND) on Sundays, beginning early August (actual date to be confirmed). A sample shirt will be on display at registration when we meet this Sunday, as usual, at Sao Bien 4 restaurant: 2 pm for 2.30 pm start.
Hares: Basil, SamSon
Hash Flash: Uncle