Sonntag, 9. Februar 2014

day no. 22- blind-date with Hugo

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, - 3°C

I was invited once again to join a 30 km trip with a group of 4 sledges. Doesn't sound so many, but there are the nice, attentive type of tourists and then the ones a guide fortunately meets just once or twice a year. The second kind does not listen at all and does not care, too. They drive over you and the dogs, loose continuously their teams taking pictures leaving the brake. A forenoon full of anger and unnecessary, avoidable contretemps. Not easy at all to keep calm and try to be diplomatic. It was chaotic, at least on the way to the shelter. But they learned and it got a bit  better after 10 km... But despite of this, that trip offered a new challenge for me. This time I had not just to sit on the snowmobile enjoying the trip, but we carried with us a big sledge full of food, wood and extras, because the group has booked a meal which had to be prepared by someone. In the middle of nowhere you can hardly find a restaurant, so that we planned to lit a fire and warm up the reindeer soup directly in the tent. I have made fire before, but I was still a little nervous, since I really wanted to make it! One who wants to live in in the middle of nowhere should at least know how to make a good fire! That's such an essential skill and should actually be easy to do, even in the snow!
But you never know, that's why I ask google for help. They are hundreds of ways how to make fire, even if you don't have matches. I found a website on which a video is posted how to make fire by help of a lens formed of clear ice. The only tricky point is, that one need sunlight to make it work. (The same with the help of an condom filled with water...) The last days it has been always grey and kind of dark. Then there with the commonly known friction-based methods drilling fastly a wooden stick between your hands and similar techniques. (For my German readers: I found an interesting website about what kind of fires exists and tips and tricks about which one is suited best for different undertakings. click here!)

remants of my cooking fire
Lucky me I had matches and about 20 minutes to light a fire and warm up the soup while the tourist group was driving some more km. My professional companion told me, leaving me and the sledge at the shelter, that I should just try and do what I'm able to do. He would help me as soon as they were back. But I didn't want help. There was no limit to my ambition. I really had to be successful; otherwise that would have been a damaging blow to my pride. :) The trick is to make it burn really well, if you don't want to have the tent full of smoke. It worked perfectly and the soup was already warm when my group arrived. 
Warming soup for 10 people on the fire is an annoying activity. Set directly over the fire you have to stir up the soup continuously to not burn it and it is so boring sitting in a tent respiring the smoke of your fire for seemingly hours.

On the way back one of the dogs didn't go any further and decided to just sit on the trail holding up the whole group. We had to take Hugo of and rearrange the teams. Hugo was tired that we decided that I should sit in the sledge keeping him somehow there balancing somehow on  the thermal boxes. With one hand I tried to hold down strong Hugo and with the other I kept us both in/on the sledges which was jumping   continuously over the hills and hollows of the uneven trail. When he felt better he started to jump out of the sledge. Once we fall both from the sledge in a snowbank. I had fun, Hugo not so much. We tried to reintegrate him in his team, after he has had some km to recover, but it didn't work. So I stayed with him in the sledge the whole way back. He got noticeably nervous getting closer home. And then he decided to walk the rest of the way home and with the attempt to jump over me he crashed into my face and damaged my glasses. I was 'blind'. Not cool! But it took me time to realize how practical glasses are. While I was sitting in the sledge I didn't care that much. Now I feel captured in a milky fog. everything is white, like before, but my clear sight finnish after about 5 meters. GREAT!  ... time for a change

Hugo and I ( last stop with my glasses)

We arrived so late, that I was already too late to participate in the Safari in the darkness. A pity! 

Knowledge of the day:  I wish I would not have to leave so soon. Tape can't fix everything.

Onnittelen sinua syntymäpäivän johdosta, Erä-Susi Huskies!

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