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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
The Cork Mountaine.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
CaptainVertigo
2016-03-21 22:55:45
"Stuck In The Muckish Zone" from CaptainVertigo Contract pics
Picture: Stuck In The Muckish Zone (Contract pics)

A Lesson Beneath Muckish
On St. Patrick's Day 2016, I was once again reminded of the frailty of my aging headpiece.
This time the location was a boreen which lay beneath Muckish, the towering table mountain of north Donegal. I had departed the Errigal Youth Hostel at dawn (yes, they take a liberal view of "youth" there). I had gone up and down the magnificent Aghlas from the west with considerable efficiency, and as the sun blazed in the early spring sky, I set Google Maps for Muckish.
It was to have been the crowning glory of a great day.
To save going around the longish way by Creeslough I accepted a proposal to short cut over bog roads north of the great mountain. They were grey rather than yellow on the OS map, suggesting danger. But hubris is not easily daunted.
I ignored the desperate pleas from Google Maps to await recalculation "on road" as the track surface faded and disintegrated. I rode my 2002 "Ham" (Seat Alhambra) like an Indian approaching a stagecoach. Fearlessly. Recklessly. My Inner Toad (of "Toad Hall") was humming "24 Hours from Tulsa". I paused The Ham before a huge muddy waterlogged hole in the road, reversed a bit and then accelerated into the black. And that was it. I was now well and truly stuck. Couldn't go forward. Couldn't go backwards. In the middle of nowhere.
I attempted to use my carjack to try to lift the wheels and build a road under them: to no avail. The stones I placed under the jack to act as foundations were simply pile-driven into the mess. Noon turned to 1pm. Ipm to 2pm. 2pm to 3pm...I was covered in black mud, exhausted and nearly defeated when I heard the familiar buzzing sound of a quad. Now, like most members of my tribe, I have always harboured a profound disdain for these ride-on lawnmowers and their owners.
Such destroyers of the wilderness must be barbarians? Let's be honest: you wouldn't want your daughter to marry one.
Well, I was taught a great lesson. The young man that shot through the air in his flying machine was a thorough gentleman. He tried everything to get me free. He carried stone after stone into the cess pit. He went off and found a rope and tried to pull the Ham free with his quad. Finally, when it was clear that we needed a tractor he drove off and located the only man in
north Donegal who wasn't pulling a float in a Paddy's Day Parade. I owe a great debt to the quad man, the tractor man and the family of four who stayed with me, and offered hope and encouragement. Even the little boy who kept whispering: "Daddy why
did the man drive into the hole? Why did the man drive into the hole? Why did the man drive into the hole."
Thank you all! And as for Muckish: "I'll be back". Back, but changed. A humbler, less judgmental hillwalker.
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