Run Report 1921: Rodborough Common CP, Near Milford

A yaffley good run……

Scribed by Hawkeye

The saying goes that it is a long time from May to September, but with an emerging climate crisis it’s a long time from one May Bank Holiday to another. From Hypothermia to Hyperthermia in twenty eight days! With the prospect of a sunnier outlook, a stalwart and reduced pack resisted other temptations to assemble adjacent to the A3 expecting some enigmatic entertainment courtesy of PH3’s version of Professor Yaffle. And not to be disappointed the car park proved as dusty as our hare, who I assume was named due to his dry sense of humour?

The pack numbered Sparkly, Wally, A-list, Too Bright, Cynthia, ITB, Prince Charming, Pis’t’man Pat, TIFM, Hawkeye, Call Girl and Robin Hood. A taciturn briefing and then we took our turn to find what lay in store, or more precisely on footpaths and roads. The route out took us back under the A3 and an ongoing and confusing series of twists and turns that bamboozled the bejesus out of the majority of the pack. This led to some heated debate as to whether this particular section of abandoned road was the old A3 or not. I think after my third attempt to make such a claim, my paper thin credibility had evaporated.

Paper thin leads were also the order of the day as the constantly turning trail ensured a constantly rotating lead. Finding myself near the front of affairs in the company of Prince Charming I offered the opinion that we could very likely emerge near the old pub, the White Lion (?) in Milford. But after hitting a road and crossing it, I confidently declared that I had no idea where I was. Then PC politely pointed out that we had just arrived at the aforementioned closed pub that I’d just been blathering on about!

The next footpath was a complete surprise and provided a bluebell glade complete with an Araucaria araucana. Worked that out yet – well it is a monkey puzzle. But the real solution to my mental puzzle emerged as a hitherto unknown (to me) crossing of the A3 emerged, on Lower Moushill Lane no less. This was the physical release for my mental block on how the bl***y hell we were going to return to whence we came.

This led us to some fine woodland and common running where we met the hare for a regroup. Before being dispatched to play on Rodborough Common proper. Common land has a certain samey-ness to it, and some of the more densely wooded parts, the feel of abandoned military grounds. But fully restored to nature they were wild enough for us.

And as the cuckoo struck 13, I for one was looking for a way home. With the A3 as an aural guide I navigated by ear not eye, only to realize that we had looped much further south than I’d thought and hence needed to head further North. This led to an impasse the likes of which I have not experienced since 1987 and Ogof Fechan (a welsh cave), where I became convinced that we had already passed this point and where now re-covering old ground. As in Wales, it took a wiser mind to break me from my reverie and run past what I swore was our earlier regroup, but in fact wasn’t. See earlier comment about samey-ness! As the sawdust faded (as briefed by the hare), so did we but, with TIFM as our guide we eventually divined our route back towards the A3 and home.

VERDICT: A great run, intricately planned and executed, though I understand it took the hare a few hours, due to running short of sawdust on a few occasions. But from our perspective this was time well spent, as it kept us well on track. Many thanks Dusty, Professor Yaffle would have been proud.

POST RUN CONVERSATION: BH plans quickly dragged me away but not before sampling the cookies provided by Too Bright. And with some relaxing in the sunshine I headed off for an afternoon bike ride, possibly with a beer or two.  PP did the same with the guarantee of many more. On on

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