14 March 2013

Tuesday the fifth

Tuesday the fifth - Back to Nikkaluokta 
Signi - Fjällstation - Nikkaluokta 35 km

Tuesday morning was cloudy.
It looked like a good day to be heading back.
We packed the pulkas and tidied the cabin
and then we had to say goodbye to it.














It was snowing.
There was one snow scooter track,
but in the first uphills wind had covered everything with snow.
I thought it might be quite a long day untill we get to the Fjällstation.
We decided to take it easy and stay the night in tent some place soon after Kebne.














Everything was white.
We could hardly see the sun giving some light from behind the clouds.
And the sun was below the mountaintops!
There was no way to tell where the horizon was.
Going downhill it was impossible to see, what the hill was like.
It was not easy with the dogs and pulkas.














But we were lucky: After skiing one hour, when we were having a short break,
the sleddogs passed us in a valley. We followed their track,
trusting that the guide would not take his guest and dogteams to any dangerously steep downhills - and we were right.

Mora and Miilu liked to follow the path that other paws had printed.
They were full of energy and it all went almost too easy.
We got to Fjällstation, and it was hardly noon!
I said:
- Let's have a long break here.
 I wanted to use the service house and have a shower - first time after friday. It felt so good! We cooked lunch in the house too. There was a fully equiped kitchen and everything that a trekker can need, including a drying room. Using the house only costs less than 10 € per person.














After this luxury rest we felt ready to ski again.
And so did our dogs:
During the break they had their coats on, a good lunch and a sleep under the veranda.

After first downhill we were lucky again:
Two track vehicles going to Fjällstation came from Nikkaluokta.
There is no better track for skiing!
Miilu and me went fast, but I could see that the heavier load
was affecting Mora and Markku at this point:
They could not keep up with us.
So I tried to slow down and ski together with them.
We could see that Mora is not 100 % OK:
He was not going straight, like there would be something wrong with his left back leg.
We tried to bend it and look at it, but we found nothing.
I thought maybe we could try an other kind of harness for him.

It was getting dark, but we were already so close to Nikkaluokta
there was no point in camping anymore.
We arrived to the car at about six.
I massaged and fed the dogs.
They were happy to go in the car.
We packed the pulkas, changed some of our clothes and
started driving back home.
















We both felt we want to come back here.
Maybe with boys, maybe with a dogteam?
In summertime it would be maybe summit one of these mountains.

Wednesday the sixth -Coming home
After midnight slept in a B&B in Tornio, because we could not drive any further.
Our dogs were allowed in, and they slept in the bathroom.
It was amazing how well they behaved: At home they are never in the house.
There was only 250 km home from there, so we arrived home at noon.

Things that worked wellon last days: 
- Nice tracks to follow
- Long day did not feel long because of the wonderful lunch and rest at the station
- Mostly downhill, quicker than we thought
- Viking Shoes and merino wool socks: Not any blisters, not any frozen toes

Things to consider next time: 
- Once heading for the car in fog or snow, there is not much point in staying one more night, but you still need to stay the night somewhere: after skiing all day it is too dangerous to drive all night
- It's better to come home rested than tired
- Minding Mora more carefully; He did not eat as well as Miilu during last day. It was good that I had  nice sausage he couldn't resist!
- Way to make it even for the dogs, if the other pulka is lighter. Why not change the dogs for a day or sometimes connect them together?

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