It’s one of Ireland’s most recognizable views, and it was well worth the physical effort it took to get there. (Code for: Holy Hiking Boots, Batman, there sure are a lot of steps to climb!) A five-mile stretch of the rugged west coast, with dramatic cliffs averaging 700 feet high, the Cliffs of Moher took my breath away. (Literally!)

Weather-wise, the driver told us to hurry, as “Rain is on the way; take your jackets.” Naturally, I balked, as the wind was blowing ferociously, and my zipped-up jacket creates a real sweat box inside. “It never rains on my field trips,” I proclaimed to no one in particular, and set off without my coat.

We had to traverse hundreds of rock steps to get to the best viewpoints, but I kept repeating to myself, “It’s only one step at a time,” followed by “the elevator’s broken, you have to take the steps.”

I got lucky. The weather in Ireland is almost exactly like the weather in Long Beach, and I figured even if it sprinkled, it wouldn’t last long. As it turned out, not a drop fell while I walked up, and back down the massive steps.

The photos never do anything “justice,” but I took a photo of some emergency vehicles above the cliffs to give some perspective to the massive size of these formations.

I’m rather happy the day was misty and mysterious, as I would have sweat bucketloads if the sun had been out! I’m happy to be able to cross this one off my bucket list while my knees are still spry enough to manage the climb. It was a wonderfully humbling experience.