Polar Stroll – Day 21
Interestingly enough I woke up at the same place I went to sleep – in the woods. During the night the wind was rocking my tent, but I slept tight, because I knew that the wind can’t blow my tent away with me in it.
The first 8,5 km to lake Miekojärvi I followed a road, so the “piglet” was calmly sleeping in the cart and snoring. When I reached the lake, I checked the ice, to make sure that it’s thick enough for me to cross. And it was. The lake was covered only by a thin layer of snow, so I decided to let my “piggy” rest a little bit more and continue the journey on wheels. At first I was sharing the lake with some ice-fishers, but they got frightened by a storm clouds forming in the North and soon packed their gear and left on snowmobiles.
So at the end I was enjoying the 4 km long icy landing strip all by my self, and it was just fantastic. On the other side of the lake I had to crawl up and dow again, because of the interesting relief, but that’s life – you go up, dow, up again and then you have a smooth stretch, but only until you reach the next rocky mountains. I wanted to replenish my water supply, but all of the houses appeared the be empty. I guess the owners visit this place only in summer. After the hilly stretch I got back on a lake – this time it was Alainen Alposjärvi.
The heals of my socks are not whole anymore – they are covered in huge holes, and during the second part of the day I started to feel that I am loosing some skin as well, because the boots were slowly but inevitably rubbing my heals off. But I didn’t mind, because chafes and blisters are a classical part of a longer hike and there’s nothing I can do about that. Even though my boots are kind-of water-resistant, some moister always gets in, because the fact is that I’m basically living in snow. The last time my boots got properly dried was 2,5 weeks ago in Hirvasvaara, where I was staying with the elderly Finnish couple. Since then the boots haven’t been completely dry for one moment, even though every evening I clean them, put them in a water-proof bag and thrust the bag into the far end of my sleeping-bag. This doesn’t help with the moisture, but at least the boots don’t freeze solid during the night. At the end of the day my feet look a bit like raisins – the skin has absorbed some part of the moisture and become wrinkled like grandma’s hands. But during the night my feet manage to get back to normal. This cycle repeats itself every day. Also I have learned to quickly deal with blisters – I just pop them with a needle (ok, ok, some might say that it’s not the best practice, but at least it works).
I swiftly crossed the lake and found the road, that would take me to the next lake – Ajankijärvi, but half-way it turned out that the guy who was shoveling this path at some point got tired and left the job half-done. The time had come to wake up my “piglet”, so I did – I put the wheeled construction on top of my sledge and went on. I had already walked 21 kilometers and still had some daylight left, so I decided to go further. Getting to the next lake was a bit challenging, because in this season there are no roads leading to the lake, so I had to wade my own way. I was wondering back and forth for some time, crawling through ditches and struggling with the sledge, so, when I got on the ice at last, I was so happy that I continued to go further and crossed the lake.
After 29 kilometers I was a bit tired, so to speak, so I went to bed without dinner. This was a great day.
Karlis (66° 34.18N, 024° 04.94E)