2014-05-12 63 28
In Koppelo, Valtimo. The point lies in a forest.
Tilley and his family were once again visiting Pastori and The Wife, this time for a whole two weeks, while Mrs. Tilley was doing her practical training in the neighbouring commune of Nurmes. The first week went quickly while doing some wood-chopping work, and also picking up a couple of geocaches, but no hashpoints fell within reasonable distance. At last a very nice point appeared for Monday! It was only 5 km straight, and easily accessible, not on a swamp either. So whole weekend the party awaited eagerly Monday and made preparations.
Monday morning brightened up, and Mrs. Tilley left for her training. After a good breakfast Tilley&daughter, Pastori and The Wife packed up their gear and provisions and got on their bicycles. The weather forecast said rain, but they couldn't wait to get to the hashpoint. After all, it was not yet raining and when the rain would start, there was no guarantee it would stop before the evening. Our party speeded along the quiet Northern Karelian village road in a tight formation. Pastori and Tilley were riding trusty one-gear-granny-bikes, The Wife had a fancy 7-gear model. Tilley transported his daughter on a retro child seat, only 33 years old but still good as new! In the 1980s they still made stuff that lasts.
The distance to the hashpoint was about 7 km along the road. The weather was cloudy and even some small drops moistured our faces. In the familiar village scenery we were pretty fast in the vicinity of the point and made the final turns to a small road which went past an inhabited house and some small fields. Time to fire up the devices! Before the hashpoint the fields ended and there was a forest in which the point stood. We parked our bikes and with Pastori leading the way, hopped over the ditch and went through the thicket lining the way. After a few meters, the forest was luckily easier to travel.
Big trees were somewhat impeding the GPS signals, so both Pastori and Tilley did some big-scale geodancing. This was made more difficult by the fact that our 1,5 year old hashtoddler wanted to keep the GPS device to herself. By the way, she can say "g-p-s" already. Gotta learn the important words early. Soon satellites lined up better, and Pastori and Tilley could find a common agreement where the hashpoint was. It appeared to be in a ditch. This was no problem, however, as there was an ice deck above the water, which was even strong enough to support our entire party. Some advantage living this far north. :) Especially in thick forests where the sunlight can't reach so well, there is still ice and snow even this late in May.
The point was actually quite nice. The forest was big-grown and moist with thick layers of moss on the ground and long beards of lichen in the trees. The air was fresh. The ice provided a good even surface to stand even for the toddler. The rim of the ditch was a nice place to set the camera upon to take a picture of our expedition party. After thoroughly documenting our success, we returned to the bikes. In a good expedition there always needs to be something to eat, especially the toddler feels this way. After eating raisins, nuts and chocolate, it was time to head homewards. The rain had now started, but it didn't bring down our mood. A successful expedition always feels nice!
Trip total: 14 km of biking. 3 cars and 1 bicyclist (!) seen.
| Pastori, The Wife, Tilley&daughter earned the Walking on water geohash achievement
| Tilley and Pastori+Wife earned the Bicycle geohash achievement