"Dreams are the touchstones of our characters" -David Thoreau

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter weekend

Hello again!
Our long 4 day easter weekend started with a late night trip to the summer cottage.  Annina and I didn't know the condition of the road so we decided to be prepared if it was still snowed in.  Luckily when we came upon the begining of the small road it was clear of snow.  We almost made it all the way down the road untill about 50meters from the normal parking place where the road was full of deep snow.  It looked like it continued all the way up to the cottage so we decided to pull out the sled and gear up and ski the rest of the way. 

We were hoping to take all of our stuff into the cabin in one trip.  As soon as we started the snow ended as soon as we reached the first cabins.  We felt a bit silly but decided to just pull the sled the rest of the way across the grass.  I guess that was my last official ski(world's shortest) of the year.

The next day we began the day relaxed with fantastic weather although a bit cloudy.  The lake still had some pretty thick ice but most of the snow was gone. 

Then once we got the energy Annina started to pull up the weeds like mad.  There was a pine weed that was taking over the whole area and killing the blueberrry bushes.  So the whole weekend we worked slowly but managed to take out a huge amount of the weeds to find little blueberry bushes trying to grow underneath.  It also brightened up the place a bit.  We also started collecting Birch syrup courtesy of Tom and Nancy whom gave us the tree taps.  We managed to get three liters of the syrup in two days.

Later in the day we decided to throw my Tomahawk a bit.  A tomahawk is a native american tool for general work not really for battle for people who do not know what it is.  It is very similar to an axe but a lot smaller and lighter which is really great for hiking.  Annina did quite well and it was really fun to throw it again as it has been a long time.  It came back quite quickly as we were both able to stick it many times. =)

Then our day continued with several other funny happenings.  One which included pulling out my ice climbing gear and try to chop some branches down.  Some seagulls have been trying to make a nest near the cottage in this one tree.  Last year they stole another birds nest and kicked out the eggs.  They were also quite aggressive.  I noticed they were thinking of building a nest again there so we decided to cut the top branches off.  The problem was there was no branches at the bottom so I climbed the lower section with my ice axes and crampons.  Was really funny but successfull.  Maybe I found a new way to train for ice climbing!

We also gave badmitton a go.  It was quite strange as the temperature for all of the days were 18'C and sunny.  So it felt funny to play in a T-shirt and next to the snow.  We also just took it nice and slow and was relaxing quite much.  Also since I had my expedition sled I gave it a water test.  It managed to float with all 90kg of me in the sled!  It was pretty close to capsizing but a good laugh.
Everyday went something like this and of course we had the obligatory evening sauna every night before dinner.  It was fantastic and also went for some cold swimming.  I also managed to get on the thin ice which was definitely interesting. Also for you American readers I took a quick picture of the temperature inside the sauna...and yes it is correct! 96'C or 204'F shown in the picture. =)  It is a pretty normal sauna temperature for a lot of finns.

With the fantastic weather we were also able to see the forest really waking up.  There were so many birds and other animals waking up from their winter slumber.  One of the first things we saw was a pretty big forest frog scrambling through the brush.  Then we also saw many Sisiliskos(Finnish lizard) running around the yard.  They are pretty funny guys and really docile.  Annina even managed to pet one.  The forest was always ringing from the woodpeckers.  I managed to take a picture of one though binoculars.  They are pretty cool birds.  We also saw many different varieties of butterflies.  Fantastic as summer is not far away!
The weekend was filled with fantastic memories and one of the nicest easters I have ever had.  Every night was a fantastic sunset and the sky was filled with stars.  It was nice to get away from the bustle and hustle of Helsinki and just relax.  I could really just have stayed there but I suppose I have to get back to work and pay the bills.  Perhaps someday we will be able to be in nature everyday!  I hope erveyone had a fantastic easter!  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for further posts!

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