What is a hash? Well, I'm glad you asked. A hash is basically a hike on a trail that has been preset by a hare (the person who sets the trail) marking the trail with paper scraps, to be followed by the hashers (the runners and/or walkers). The terrain can vary from mountain trails, crossing streams, mud, dirt, paved roads and even through neighborhoods. Thank goodness it is non-competitive. In fact, hashers are often referred to as drinkers with a running problem, as there is always a party with beer and food at the end of the hash. If you hear other hashers around you yelling "on on" then you know that you are on the right trail.
I was a little worried about my first hash. How would it be? Could I do it? After all, since I had never hashed before, I was known as a virgin (and even made to sign up as a virgin before the hash). Thankfully, Rene, Stacy, Lisa and Sea Dog Dave, all no longer virgins, agreed to go with me. When we got to the gathering point, we all slathered on sunscreen and then bug spray over that. Next came the sweat and some mud as we hiked uphill on a very narrow and slippery trail. Stacy, Lisa and I, along with our new friend Sheryl Shard, brought up the rear and we got so busy talking that we got lost. For a minute there I was worried that we would never find our way back! The views were breathtaking and it felt absolutely wonderful to be enjoying the island from a point of view that other visitors may never get to appreciate.
Once we got back to the gathering point everyone enjoyed a cold beer and an oil down (In case you are wondering what an oil down is, that topic will be a future blog post all of it's own - a hint though - it's food). So we were enjoying our refreshments when the hash master called all the virgins up. There were 6 or 7 of us and we were presented with our certificates of loss of virginity, then they had us put our sunscreened, bug sprayed, sweaty, muddy arms around each other and they SPRAYED US WITH BEER!
What a day! Luna and I enjoyed every minute of it and we can't wait to go back and do it again.
Hashing has been around since 1938 when it originated in Malaysia. According to the World Hash House Harriers home page, there are currently 2028 hash groups in 1330 cities in 185 countries, so check them out and find a hash group near you.
Here are a couple of great resources if you are interested in learning more about hashing:
Grenada Hash House Harriers
World Hash House Harriers
Wikipedia - Hash House Harriers
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. ~John Muir
|On on! Beginning of the hash!|
|The trail is marked with shredded paper piles|
|The views are incredible!|
|See what I mean?|
|Luna, making friends with a goat.|
|Rene and Sea Dog have a rest after the hash.|
|Here's a fun hash tradition for you - If you wear new shoes|
to the hash, they make you drink beer from them!
|We did it! Sheryl, Deana, Lisa and Stacy|
|And now - the reward!|
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir