I decided to break away from Juneau to spend New Year’s in Ireland. Directly after arriving in Dublin, which is on the east coast, I started traveling west towards Galway. After a few hours spent in Galway City, jetlag took over, and I fell asleep an hour before midnight. My companions and I borrowed a car from relatives and drove to the country and into the Gaeltacht. We stocked up on food from Clifden’s town store and had our pick of European foods. The cashier didn’t expect us to have a store loyalty card because we were obviously tourists, but the borrowed car’s keychain had a well-worn membership card, making us look like locals. We hiked up Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park. The wind was felt dangerous enough to make us consider turning back. We kept on, though, and got a full view of Storm Eleanor coming in off the Atlantic. (The storm, which hit Europe at the beginning of January, brought winds of 100 miles per hour.) The trail brought us on a loop around to the sheltered aspect further inland, where we made friends with grazing sheep in the bog land.
*Gaeltacht is Gaelic for regions of Ireland that speak the Irish language.
• California-born and Alaska-bred, Gabe Donohoe has taken photos daily for the past five years. He is currently a student of the University of Alaska Southeast’s Outdoor Studies program. His photo archives can be seen on www.gabedonohoe.com.