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Photography : Mary Blackshire Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

Croagh Moyle
By Mary Blackshire.
4, Apr 2003 - 00:14

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I had been hearing about the Booster for about three years, maybe even longer. It sounded like a challenge that maybe I could handle. My brother writing to me every week with stories of his walks and climbs through the mountains and hills of Connaught distracted me from the daily mundane and the trials and tribulations of my illness. He wrote about the Nephin Beg range, the Bangor Trail, the Tocher Walk, Mweelrea, Maamturk Mountains and the Walking Festival in Castlebar. Not to mention Carrauntouhil, Kerry and hikes in Brittany, France. My walks nowadays are usually a brisk two-mile walk around the proverbial block in Manassas, VA with occasional hikes to the Shenandoah or Appalachian Mountains. Lets not forget walking Riley my daughters dog in the Battlefield or the numerous trails in the Washington DC area. When my brother came to visit last year, I introduced him to Canaan Valley, West Virginia one of my favourite hikes.

On Croagh Moyle

Even considering past Volksmarching in Germany and Turkey and walks in Ireland, I was intrigued by the "Booster" In every 3rd or 4th letter, my brother would say "I only got to the Booster last Sunday". I looked forward to walking up to the Booster and got the opportunity this year March 1999. In Ireland for my mothers 80th birthday, my daughter, her fiancé and my niece’s husband climbed the reek. I was very tempted but knew I was not in shape for such a climb. On the designated Sunday, my sister, brother in law, my niece and her husband, two of my nephews, my grandniece and two grandnephews, my daughter, my brother the walker and myself set off for the Booster. Driving on roads I had never been on before, we parked the cars and prepared to walk up. We encountered heavy rain on the way up and the winds on top were quite strong. It was slow going for me and I was last to the top with my daughter. It was well worth it, the views were indescribable. I'm sure I saw the coast of Virginia, well maybe not but the landscape seemed to go on forever.

Walking down was so much easier, of course and now I know what the Booster is and can visualise it every time my brother writes and tells me "only made it to the Booster" last Sunday. Its still quite a hike.

Lake Beltra

Four years later this March, we hiked it again, still as impressive as that first time. The weather was beautiful, still very windy on top. It’s a very easy walk for my brother now who thinks nothing of spending all day on the Twelve Bens or the Nephin Beg range. Still quite a hike for me.

Wind turbines

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