Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring overnighter with the kids.

It wasn't hard to convince the kids to go on a short backpacking overnighter. I just had to mention the word pancakes. We decided to go to the Liesjärvi National Park, where I've only been once before, a brief visit maybe 15 years ago. It is a one hour drive from Turku, which isn't too bad. The weather forecast was good, promising crisp and clear weather, something that wasn't entirely realized.

We arrived at the Pirttilahti parking place around half past six in the evening and immediately started to walk. The weather was sunny and quite warm, almost 10°C. The trail was wide and easy to walk on.

The lakes were still mostly ice covered and there were still not many signs of spring in the nature, except the birds.

The trail went on an interesting low ridge between two lakes.

Two of one.

An interesting looking tree.

We now have a new photographer in the family.

After the ridge section we continued through the forest to the tent site at Savilahti. Camping is only allowed on a few designated sites in the national park.

Still some snow in the forest.

Savilahti, a bit before the camp site. It now started to rain slightly.

A silent rain and the sun behind clouds. After the tent was up, the boys disappeared into the tent to warm themselves in the sleeping bags. The air wasn't particularly warm.

The sun soon came out again.

Some occasional rain showers kept things interesting.

The light was quite extraordinary.

The little photo session was finished with a little hail.

Meanwhile in the tent.

Now it was time for the pancakes. I think I will move to using canisters with the stove now that the summer is coming.

It soon got dark and it was time to sleep.

The night was not silent. Whooper swans, loons and goldeneyes flying by generated sounds through the night. The kids stayed warm in their winter sleeping bags, while I stayed cold in my 600 g summer bag, which I brought to save weight.

The next morning certainly sounded like a spring morning from inside the tent, with the sound of at least ten bird species. Outside it felt more like November, though. It was cold, slightly foggy and the sun was nowhere to be seen, despite the sunrise being at 5:30.

Fresh ice. The temperature went a few degrees below freezing.

The kids still had it warm and cozy.

Time for breakfast. I had forgot to bring my coffee filter, but fortunately I had a spare Buff.

While I packed down the tent, the younger boy had to confess that he had played by the ice and got a little wet. Nothing like cold toes to learn a lesson. The spare wool socks kept him warm enough for the rest of the morning, though.

On the move again.

Real forest in the national park.

And on we went, returning the same way as we came.

The weather was still grey...

... but as we approached the car, the sun started coming out. The return journey in the car passed under a clear blue skye.

A nice little outing again. During the car ride home, the kids asked when we should return.

And finally, the haiku for Hendriks trip report contest.

Two boys walking
Beautiful spring night
Everyone sleeps