Croagh Patrick climb
Joel and I decided it would be a good idea to climb Croagh Patrick, the third tallest mountain in Ireland at around 2,500 feet. The mountain is named for Saint Patrick who reputedly fasted on the summit for forty days in the 5th century and built a church there. Now, I realize, and you're probably thinking to yourself, well, that's not even half a mile vertical, and I agree. BUT, its the most challenging climb I'VE ever done, with the last third of it being rocks and shale...not something you'd want to climb through. It took us 3 hours and 15 minutes up and back, which is a miracle beacuse I was at my out-of-shape snails pace, watching Joel scamper around me like a newborn bunny. Its deceiving, at first, because you see the top of a hill and think, pshaw, I can do that, its not even that far away. But when you get there and look to your right and see something twice as hard as you just climbed, your spirits start to dwindle. I can't count how many times I told Joel I couldn't make it and to just go on without me. But, ever the cheerleader, he pushed me on. And I made it!
This particular Sunday, Reek Sunday, was the annual Last-Sunday-Of-July pilgrimmage up the mountain. Of the 25,000 people who hike up on this particular day, many do it barefoot and reach the summit for morning mass.