Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lakjärvi in January

Finally. After a long wait the winter arrived, at least temperature wise. The snow is still missing, though, but with positive thinking this might not be so bad after all. It means that opportunities might open up out on the sea ice instead, at least if the current conditions continue. The temperature also meant that there was absolutely no reason whatsoever not to go on an overnighter. After some modern communication (like Facebook) three other people would join me: Toni, Bomba and JJ.

I started riding at six in the evening from Turku and was soon joined by Bomba. About 50 km of road riding was in front of me. Rather refreshing when the temperature is -15C.

This looks rather suspicious, but there is a perfectly valid explanation for it. After an hour or so Bomba decided that he needed more wind protection in the front of his pants. For some reason he had brought a rain cover for his rucksack and just stuffed it into his pants. A valid solution to the problem. Windproof boxers would be another, possibly even better, option.

Meanwhile I became cold. When being properly clothed for the fairly high intensity of riding bike, a short break quickly chills you.

After around three hours we arrived at the Lakjärvi shelters. The first bigger shelter was occupied, so we chose the second one. I left Bomba to make the fire and went to the lake for some moonshine photography.


Moonbathing.

Meanwhile, Bomba had prepared the fire and lit it.


A sad sight. Bomba's beer came out of the can in small chunks and had to be thawed.


I just heated water for a freeze-dried outdoor meal and hot chocolate with sandwhiches.

Toni couldn't make it after all, so there were only three of us.

JJ reads the ingredients of an outdoor meal, something you really don't want to do.

It turned out that an acquiantence of JJ:s was at the neighbouring shelter. Unfortunately (or not), they had brought to much meat to be barbecued and asked if we could help them finish it. We accepted.

I went to sleep an hour after midnight and the others a little later. Judging from the forecast and later data, the temperature was around -18C at its coldest during the night. I had left my NeoAir mattress at home and had to do with a Ridgerest only. I could definitely feel cold sipping through from underneath, but the rest of the sleeping gear was warm enough that I was quite comfortable during the night. My toes were really toasty, thanks to the new down booties I got for Christmas.

At eight in the morning I got up after having slept quite well. I started a fire and then went for a short photo session. The others had no problem sleeping.


Morning moon.




I went back to the shelter and started to make breakfast. The sandwhiches demanded some thawing over the fire. Around nine o'clock I woke up the others. They reacted with varying promptness. Eventually they got up. Bomba had a somewhat larger breakfast than what I'm used to.

Again I had time for a short photo session at the lake. The sunrise was at 9:15. We've actually gained a full hour of daylight since the winter solstice. Please forgive the amount of photos, it was a beautiful morning.






Things progressed slowly at the shelter and I had plenty of time to drink more hot chocolate. Eventually we got going again. I again had about 50 km of riding mainly on roads to get home.

Yours truly.
 JJ.
Bomba.

My winter version of the Mukluk in winter overnighter mode.



The way home also took us on a bit of mire riding, which was quite easy as the water had been high on the mire and then frozen to ice.

Mostly we rode on roads, though.


I was home after a little under four hours of riding and again around 50 km. The temperature climbed to -12C during the day, a temperature not causing too many problems, though we walked some uphills to get some warmth into the toes.

A very nice overnighter, thanks to the participants.


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