Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer overnighter in Rovaniemi

In the last part of my summer vacation, it was time for another family holiday trip, this time to Rovaniemi, the arctic city that I really love. I had visited there briefly in 2007 and 2009 (on the LEVI24 trips) and of course last winter for the Rovaniemi 150 race.

The plan was also to do a short overnighter with Mark aka Backpacking North. He knows pretty much all the possibilities for excursions in Rovaniemi, so he planned our route and destination for the camp. Mark would start walking earlier and I would follow with my fatbike later. To make sure that I would not get completely lost in the woods, he borrowed his Garmin GPS device so that I could follow the route easily.

After a great day at Ounasvaara (more about that later in another blog post), I started my adventure to Mellalampi, our destination, around 7PM in the evening. After getting out of the city, the nice route was about to start.

The first of the many duckboards.

The route was diverse with mixed terrain.

And the weather was perfect, which provided a great evening for photography.

More duckboards. Many of them were actually easy to ride, but worse was to come. Every photography break was also slightly painful, as the midges and blackflies were there in great numbers.

Really rocky section where I didn't try to ride. But this was indeed a great route!

Mark warned me about the dodgy boards via Twitter. They were indeed in bad shape, but we have even worse boards here in Southern Finland, in Kuhankuono and Marttila.

Then I arrived at Mellalampi. Look what was waiting for me! A magnificent sunset! The clouds were perfectly positioned in the sky to shatter that light into beautiful array of colors.

I continued the very nice trail along the small lake, and Mark was there with his dog Rufus, with a campfire and tent.


Mark is not only a great route planner, he is also an outdoor chef. He was experimenting with the campfire and muffin baking. The experiment worked really well as the muffin was delicious!

We also enjoyed "the new hit of the microadventure", the Brovernighter™ part, in the form of Kuohu Valioluokka Stout. A new beer for me, which was very nice! Thanks Mark!

The evening was so calm and silent. But not completely silent. As the sunset progressed, both Mark's Nikon D800 and my Nikon D5100 shutters performed a little musical performance...

Mark had his packraft with him too.

I tried it as well, the very first time for me. I had Alpacka packraft in my mind at one point but haven't got one yet. Rafting is definitely great fun!

Mark making hot water for a tee with his stove.

...and the sunset. Yeah, it was long and awesome.

The evening couldn't be much better. It was time to get some sleep. Mark's new big tent provided space for all of us, Rufus included.

It rained in the night, which was a little surprise. The morning view.

The rain paused occasionally in the morning.

We made some coffee and Mark made also a morning porridge. My plan was to get in time to the hotel for the breakfast, so I didn't eat at all.

Packed and ready to go.

We took a shortcut to the gravel road.

I thanked Mark for the great outing, and continued riding the gravel road that provided fast return route for me. But quite soon I had to stop, for a good reason.

A perfect ending for the excellent outing, an encounter with wildlife!

The last view before the city.

Although this was a short overnighter, it was a great one. Thanks Mark for planning the route and great company! I will be in Rovaniemi again in February 2014 for the next Rovaniemi 150 race, but if I have a chance to go sooner, I will.

Check out Mark's report here. His photography is simply outstanding.