10 February 2015

A Daytrip on Skis

To spend a day skiing in North-East Finland 
If there is a better way to spend a sunny February day, please tell me. I feel really lucky, because today was very good weather and I did not need to go to work.

Me and my husband packed backbags, took skis and dogs and off we went. We took some sausage, sandwich, tea and chocolate, but no maps or compass, because we were going to stay all day in the area we know bt hearth. I'd say for me it means something like 10 x 20 kilometers, but for my husband it's probably more like 20 x 20 - Big enough.

I started skiing with one dog, and Markku with two, but I also took an other dog for me. I just let her run free in the beginning to wait for the speed to go down before connecting her. I chose Miilu and Piitu. I want Piitu to learn to be sure about turning and stopping and Miilu is a good teacher. For my husband we chose Mora and Tete, because that way we could take my whole sprint team on this daytrip and give good excercise for them.

First part of the trip was very fast on good track. It took about half an hour to ski 10 km.
Going fast is easy

After that we turned to swap-area, where it got a lot slower. We had to open the trails in the snow or go with no trail at all. Luckily only about 15 cm from surface, there is a hard layer of snow, which can carry both dogs and skis. There is 100 cm (1 meter) snow in Taivalkoski now. It would be impossible to move, if it all was soft powder.
Going slow can be harder

When we had skied one and half hours, we had done almost 20 km and it was time for lunch. We looked for a sunny place with some forest to give shelter from wind. We found a perfect spot on the foot of a small hill. There was even a stump of a tree there, just waiting for us.

Old stumps of evergreen trees are wonderful, because they make tar inside them, which makes them very good firewood. It would be a horrible waste to burn the whole stump on a warm and sunny day like this, but there is a clever way to make a small fire so that you can use the same stump also next time:
First take pieces of wood from the side of the stump with an axe.
Then make a small fire on the top of the stump.

Enjoying the lunch, sitting by the fire and letting the sun shine to my face, I was me enough to count every calorie I ate. The whole lunch was 700 kcal, which is OK for me, but it made me think how can we make sure our boys will get enough calories on our trip to Sweden? They surely burn two or three times the amount I do. Maybe we have to add some olive oil to their meals and give them extra chocolate :)
After lunch break just cover the stump with snow to stop the fire. 

I didn't look at the time, which is a luxury itself, but we probably spend more than an hour by the fire. It was so nice the weather and all. All the four dogs get good points for resting relaxed - not even Piitu tried to bite any rope or harness. I did give them some dog-food (Hau hau sausage) when we stopped, not a lot, but even a small snack can help them to feel they've had something and keep both their spirits and vitality up all day.

Taking a break

From our lunch place there was maybe 7 kilometers to home. We decided to follow a nearby track. Because of the warm day the skies slided even better than in the morning, if possible. I found it surprisingly easy to ski with two dogs and I didn't need to let them off, not even downhill.

Near home we met a neighbour and stopped for a chat

At home I realized we did a 25 km daytrip. That would be enough also on any trekking day. But then, with one dog each, it would maybe take six to eight hours. Now it only took four. One of the best things today was to see, how good all these four dogs are both in condition and behavior. I think it's safe to say also boys can trek with any of these four aces.

On Friday Markku is going to take the boys for an overnight trip. I promise to tell you how their rehearsal goes.


  1. Anu - I love reading about your adventures! Thank you for coming to visit my blog and now that I am here at yours, I will certainly come back to see you often.


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