Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ireland: Crough Patrick

I'll just say it right off, we didn't make it to the summit.

We could have dealt with the rain, we were prepared for that, but I wasn't prepared for my glasses to break. That happened just after we went through the gate, about 1/8th of a mile up from the statue of St. Patrick. What we weren't expecting at all were the midges. We were almost constantly in their company. Black, 1/16" in length, or less, and when we crossed areas where the rain was coming down the mountain, they increased in numbers, aliting all over our bodies and clothes. We couldn't breath through our noses or our mouths. My glasses were wobbling on my nose, and steamed up, the trail was getting wetter and slicker. But at a certain point, we were swarmed by the midges, so thick that they were even going into my eyes, and I said I couldn't go further. Tyler agreed. I thought Gina and Martin would make it. They did go on, as Tyler and I sat on a boulder huddled under our rain coats with the Niagara Falls blue raincoat wrapped around our heads. Tyler looked down at my pants which were totally covered by the little biting buggers. Martin returned rather quickly to say they were not going to continue.

As we started back down the slope, the rain eased up, the sky started clearing, and I felt disappointment that I caved in. Then I noticed my knees, looked back at the mountain, and knew it was the right decision for me.

Today, I learned the grace of quiting. Still feel a little disappointed however. We just started to early in the day.

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