The Ascent of Carrickgollogan

in me

And by the title, what I mean is that I walked over the Scalp, summited the mighty Carrickgollogan, visited the ruined earthenworks of Ballycorus, and thence descended to Cherrywood. The walk was straightforward (some bits up, other bits down), the weather unpredictable, and my thoughts strange.

Route taken from the Scalp to Cherrywood

Eadaoin and I are in the middle of a sad and stressful time.

I get the urge to move whenever I get stressed, slow-building pressure to do something, anything at all. I walked the Scalp, like I said. Along the way I thought about what I want out of life. Where’ll I be in five years? Ten? What are the steps between me and happiness? How can I reach my kids in the US? Where do I want to live? Do I want a house? How do I balance a busy (and awesome) work life in Dublin with a crushing desire to be alone?

Scalp House
Trail on the Scalp

There are times when I hate that I live in a time where every centimetre of the Earth’s surface has been mapped and photographed and trod upon. There aren’t any more mountains marching across the horizon with who knows what on the far side. There isn’t any hill where I can stand and look at a sea and wonder what’s beyond.

The Mountains of Mourne

Whatever I go, there somebody was already. The photograph above, the one of the mountains on the horizon? Those’re the Mournes. The two peaks on the end? Slieves Commedagh and Donard respectively. 850 metres tall, climbed in prehistory. Seen, known, climbed, codified.

I want adventure and experiences and fulfilment in my one wild and precious life. That want was always there, but now I understand that I must make it happen, if I want it to happen. I can’t wait wait around for an adventure to fall into my lap, or expect someone else to produce it for me.

That’s the new truth in my life: it will become whatever I make of it.

View of the Sugarloaf from the top of Carrickgollogan

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