“Beijing is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.”

                                                    –Kiss My Maple Leaf 2011

And with those fabled words Kiss My Maple Leaf and No Beer Required led a hearty group of hashers far beyond the usual confines of the inner 4th ring road and ventured out – West, far far West. Of these hashers there were many an occupation – Doctor, Banker, Carpenter, Oil Guy, English Teacher and town-drunk. Luckily this combination would mean that among other things, no hashers would go without extra bullets, axels, oxen, green bean ice cream, and most importantly beer!

But as all pioneers know, journeys are never without their surprises and today KMML had a big one. For on this day, under the open blue skies, the trail would not be planned and long-trodden. No, in fact it would be blazed just minutes before for this was to be a live-hare run. With that, holding only a small piece of chalk and enough flour for about 60 griddle-cakes KMML headed off into the wilderness.

As the remainder of the pioneers set off with a hearty “On-On!” they quickly discovered just how taxing this run would be. For as the locals of the wilderness outpost of PingGuoYuan vanished into the distance a slight breeze began to come off them thar’ hills. But as the wagon train approached the top of the first hill the once light breeze became a full-on squall. Yes, the wind was angry that day my friends. So angry in fact that any evidence of a Canadian trailblazer was gone. So gone in fact that the brave pioneers spread out across the angry hills looking for any sign of a trail.

And they all died…

Just kidding. After what seemed like an eternity of dust storms, open checks, and two fateful beer stops the brave hashers made it back safe and, spare a few nasty cuts and bruises, sound. On the way Prancing Queen, Cock Sourcerer and Pretty Woman even had the chance to teach one of the natives a traditional American dance known as the hokey-pokey.

Later over plentiful bottles of local lager the hashers regaled with tales of their long journey out West. Three virgins even make it though the run and came bearing gifts. The first, Bangers, brought a traditional Irish gift: Mongolian Vodka. The second Mady brought us the wonders of Haaaavard as shown through her reluctance to explain where she went to school. The third, Hawk, brought the greatest gift of all, himself. The circle also decided to channel the spirit of another great adventurer in the West of Beijing as everyone decided to put on their best Italian accent and act like Marco Polo; or Ferrari, not quite sure.

Evidently while the hashers were lost in the hills someone had time to dig up a little silver, smote it, and turn it into a 200 run mug for our dear Undulator. Much rejoicing was had even though she still prefers her 50 run mug. Then, just as darkness hit the wilderness Pretty Woman called the circle to a close and the hashers retired to a local tavern for some roast meat and more lager. On-On!