The Reek from a distance


One day, a few weeks ago, I was on my way home from work and for the first time since I started The Job, it wasn’t raining. I looked over to my left and nearly swerved off the road.

I could see Croagh Patrick! It was backlit with the sunset and was just gorgeous, a perfect pyramid in the distance. I only had my iPhone, and it was a Thursday so I didn’t have time to try to stop and take pictures, or even go home and come back with our proper camera. I didn’t even know where I could pull off the road. So I bucketed on toward home regretfully.

Every day since on my way home I look for The Reek. Clouds, clouds, clouds… did I imagine seeing it? Surely that glorious moment couldn’t have been my imagination. But nothing, no sign of a mountain in the distance, and definitely not one of such perfect angular shape. I couldn’t find the spot where I’d seen him (I’ve decided a mountain named Patrick has to be a male), either – there was just no sign of it at all.

On Tuesday, I thought (for the first time, I can be a little slow) to look for Croagh Patrick on the way in to work. it wasn’t cloudy, shockingly enough, and lo!- I found him, at a point on the road much closer to Knock than I had originally thought.

Ah-ha, I thought, I’ve got you now!

All the rest of this week I’ve been slowing down and looking, hoping for another sunset behind Ireland’s Holy Mountain. No, I’m not religious, but it is what it is – the biggest, pointiest thing around and where Patrick is meant to have fasted for forty days in 441AD. Of course he picked the place because it is unique in appearance and had been considered special to the Irish long before Christianity existed – about 3,000 years before. Here’s the Wikipedia link if you want to learn more.

Anyhoo, this Thursday I got my chance, sort of. It wasn’t a perfect sunset by any means, and the sun no longer sets directly behind the mountain. But I whipped the Mini into the other lane and backed up into a cow-track, jumped out and took a few shots with my phone. *Edit – I forgot to say that a drive from Knock to the Reek is about 60km (37mi) – and as the crow flies it is probably about 50km (30mi) away.

Hipstamatic again, zoomed in. I had it on black and white still. The colour Hipstamatic shots I took aren’t worth posting.

Regular iPhone camera, but heavily mucked around with back at home. What I saw with my eyes just didn’t come through on ‘film.’ Very disappointing – but I’m still putting this up because I’m now taking the ‘real’ camera to work with me in hopes of catching what I really see.

20 responses »

        • On Reek Sunday, thousands do it! Old folks, young folks, everyone! Probably not the best day to give it a try, but if you ever want to visit, I’ll go up with you! It might take me hours 🙂 But, I hear there’s a pub at the bottom to relive the stress of the climb!

            • Well, I’ve never been to Scotland despite having a lot of Scots heritage! if I ever win the lottery you, me, and Alexandra should have a tour! If you can’t wait – you’ll have free lodging in County Mayo if you want it 🙂

              Really? I don’t think I’m that unique looking, but I rarely find anyone who looks like me. There was an actress in the 90’s who was in a couple of B movies, and my mom said that Mary Stuart Masterson looked like me back when she was famous and I was young…

            • I almost went to Ireland last year for my study. But I didn’t go in the end. I really regret it now. I hope to save up enough money, so I can go next year. 8)

              Haha, If I ever win the lottery, I’d go somewhere nice with all the people I like. If only I’d win the lottery!

              I just googled her, But I don’t see it. 😮
              She’s pretty tho.

            • If you come over, you HAVE to let me know. I know we’d have a great time, and my hubby is a weath of information on local history, the history of Mayo, and does a really good driving tour of Mayo including Croagh Patrick.

    • Thanks! One of my best memories is driving to see my dad, and rocketing around the corners and bends of the Ozarks…when suddenly there was a pasture of longhorn cattle on my left, and a huge drop-off down the hills on my right, and the sun was setting, and the Verve Bittersweet Symphony was on the radio – an all-around magical experience that made my introduction to AR a great one!

  1. Oh how fun. Spiders, you are one of the few people outside AR who appreciate the true joys of this part of the country. Specially now. Were you here for redbugs n dogwoods n wisteria? HEAVEN.

  2. Beautiful pix. Weird object…is that actually a mountain or a monument? I couldn’t understand from your post. It sure looks like something otherworldly.

  3. We have a Mountain here called the sleeping lady.. because… well that’s what she looks like, but other than that, I think I’d always think boy for mountains, maybe because they are outties, I guess that would make lakes Innies.

    I actually adore the sleeping lady and always look for her whenever we are faced her direction. On VERY clear days we can see Mt. McKinnley (Also called Denali) far behind her. I’ve yet to get pictures of her and Denali together.

    A couple of years ago I started carrying a camera in my purse ALL the time. It just seemed like I would see something Beautiful and K would never have a Camera.

  4. Pingback: I got It – Croagh Patrick at Sunset | heretherebespiders

Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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