Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Some gratuitous climbing

Last year, we started our Irish cycling tour with a bang by aiming for Mt. Leinster right out the door. However, due to some excessive photo stops (on John's part) and poor communication (from me), I turned left at the Nine Stones and climbed up to the mast. When John arrived at the turn, he thought I had pressed on and descended, so he proceeded to chase a phantom cyclist down the far side of the mountain. At some point a flurry of "where are you?" texts clarified each other's whereabouts. I'm not sure John has ever forgiven me for missing his chance to climb to the mast on that calm, clear day. So this year I had to pay penance. With a forecast for clear skies, calm winds and mild temperatures, I suggested staying an extra day in Carlow so we could climb to the mast and take in the views. John's eyes got wide and bright.

Mount Leinster dominates the horizon in Carlow and is always a draw for John when we are here visiting his family. Similar to Mount Washington in New Hampshire, it seemingly has its own weather. Even in clear days, it is often cloudy at the mast. The rain and wind on top are the stuff of legends. But when it is truly clear, it is worth all the muscle aches and sweat to get to the top. This was one of those days. 

There were just enough clouds in the sky to make for nice photos, and just enough wind to give a gentle push up the 22% gradient, while helping to evaporate some of the sweat gushing from my brow.

SadiB loves looking down on wind turbines! It's quite clear why these dot the countryside in Ireland. 

The contrast of shorts and jersey on the way up, with every bit of clothing I had on the way down! 

I could have just sent John to the top, but he insisted I come up to so he'd have a cyclist in his photos! 

And he occasionally likes proof that he was there too, not that you can tell since we were both dressed in orange. 

A lovely hot soup and coffee in Bunclody warmed us back up after a long, bumpy descent.

1 comment:

  1. You are an inspiration in these trying times, always enjoy your stories and wish all the best, from Oklahoma City.