The time had finally come to meet with Korpijaakko in real life. We had been internet acquaintances for some time now, but meeting in real life is somehow more real. Jaakko is a professional Wilderness Guide doing a lot more advanced stuff than I do, and there is no doubt in my mind that he will become one of the leading Wilderness Guides for advanced trips a few years down the road. When I heard he was going to Turku a few times this fall, we tried to arrange for an overnighter somewhere in the vicinity of Turku. The first time didn't work out, but this time the pieces fell in place. Toni, with whom I've been doing these things for over three years now, also joined us.
In order to get the most out of our limited time, we decided to go to the Kurjenrahka National Park, starting with a forty minute car ride. Toni rode from his home directly to the Vajosuo shelter, but Jaakko and I took the trails there, with an estimated riding time of about one and a half hour. The weather was rather grey and dark, with a light rain.
I did ask in advance if Jaakko was good at riding duckboards and he anwered yes. Little did he know... The place and conditions for an advanced course in duckboard riding was the most difficult possible. The duckboards are in rather poor condition and the rain made them very slippery.
Jaakko actually managed quite ok and didn't even fall into a ditch or the wet bog, something which often happens when we do group rides here.
A little before halfway we switched bikes, and I didn't get my fatbike back until we arrived at the shelter. At the shelter the first thing to do was to start a fire and get the coffee going. Toni hadn't yet shown up.
Jaakko tried out a minimalistic hammock and tarp, Madtree Core and Madtree Rae. Ultralight quality gear made in Finland.
Tradition dictates that you should grill sausage when you are by a fire in Finland, but I'm breaking tradition here with salmon on rye bread. Delicious. The beer does follow traditions, though.
The second serving was salmon with blue cheese. Even better.
Toni arrived and had to try Jaakko's hammock.
And so the evening went on, talking about outdoor stuff and plans.
We went to sleep around midnight and slept until seven in the morning. I was the first one up and got the fire started for coffee and breakfast.
Jaakko had slept well in the hammock. I'm curious myself, but have some doubts whether my less-than-perfect back can cope with it.
Getting ready to ride again.
We got started at 8:15. It didn't rain anymore, but everything was still wet and slippery.
The duckboards had not improved...
... and the weather was still depressingly grey.
The duckboards were easier with the fatbike.
Soon back at the car.
Thanks for the company! It is always nice and inspiring to meet with like-minded people.