Monday, June 27, 2011

Climbing Croagh Patrick

This past weekend, the Smith family took a trip to County Mayo in the west of Ireland.  For the second consecutive time on a trip out west, we were bombarded with wet weather.  The forecast for Saturday was meant to be drier, but as we set out on a trek up Croagh Patrick it became obvious that the forecast wasn't quite as accurate as we would have hoped.  About 250 feet up the mountain, Juli and Ashlyn (Ashlyn has a comfortable little backpack to be carried in) headed back for the visitor's cafe at the carpark, while I was determined to make it to the top.

About an hour later I was 2500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, but for all I knew, I may as well have been on Jupiter.  The cloud cover, fog, and mist was so thick it felt like I had been hiking through a bowl of soup.  My shirt and wind pants were as wet as if I had taken a swim out in Clew Bay.  Needless to say, I didn't spend too long on top and quickly began my descent to the bottom.  As I passed a couple of lads from Kilkenny on their way up (I had passed them on my way up earlier), they asked me if I had taken time to say my prayers on the top.  I told that I had indeed offered up a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord, but I hadn't lingered too long because of the rain.

Thankfully I made it back down with only a couple of slips and no injuries.  And I was even more grateful that Juli and Ashlyn had made it down without a fall. Meanwhile, the weather back in Dublin was sunshine and 75 degrees.  We may have missed one of the best days of the Dublin summer on our trip, but it was worth it to check one more place off our Irish bucket list. - Shay
 Beginning Croagh Patrick Trek

Daddy, are you sure about this?

Soupy view of the Atlantic

Yes, caps must be worn!

Traffic jam in Mayo

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