Archive for the ‘MIXED STUFF’ Categoryby Northernmost on June 11, 2014 in Daily Life, DAILY LIFE, Lyra, Nature, Tuisku with No Comments
I woke up this morning to the sun shining through my window. It was only 4:00 a.m. but I couldn’t go back to sleep so I went out to say hello to the early birds, Lyra and Tuisku, who had been up since sunrise. I brought my camera and took some photos of the morning mist rising from the lake. June mornings are magic, especially when there are so few mosquitoes around. Love our summers here on the coast
It’s 4:00 a.m. Lyra…isn’t it a bit early for games? No? OK then, I’ll play with you…
It’s an amazing luxury to be able to go on a mountain trip after work, and experience the sunset on the runners of the sled. We left home at around 6.30 pm and returned just before 11.00 pm – and it was still not completely dark when I unharnessed Hilary and Wilder in their pen. On the way up to Ounastunturi we met only one skier, a man who wanted to stop and chat about the dogs as he had owned a Malamute in the past, but during the rest of the trip we had the trail and the views to ourselves. It was a magical evening – completely calm and quiet and the trails were frozen and fast. If I didn’t have to work tomorrow we would have stayed overnight in one of the open huts and continued the journey further into the mountains in the morning. The dogs were eager to go on and it was almost difficult to make them turn around and head home instead. Not sure if this was our last run of the season but I don’t mind if it was, as this evening will stay with me for a long time to come.
Soon the sun will stay up all night and if the snow remains it will be possible to go sledding and skiing under the midnight sun – Northern Lapland is a magical place
We’re making the most of our holiday and have been out on trips nearly every day, either sledding or skijoring. There are endless trails to explore in Enontekiö and as always we wish we could stay until the snow melts. The weather has been very mild during the last couple of days and the trails are quickly getting soft and mushy but according to the forecast the temperature will drop again during Easter – fingers crossed for a few more days of good sledding! Below are some mixed pics from last week, there are also some new photos in our Lapland Spring 2014 gallery.
Our “Britkids”, Lyra and Titan, getting ready for a run.
Hilary and Wilder heading up to the top of the Särkitunturi fell in Muonio County.
We had to climb a steep, long hill to get there…
…but it was worth it, as the view from the top was spectacular.
The Pallas-Ylläs fell on the horizon is our “home fell”, here seen from a different angle.
The Finns are practical people – on the top of Särkitunturi was a tiny outhouse.
Wilder is starting to look quite grown up – at least in this picture.
We didn’t spend a lot of time on the fell as it was too windy to sit down and enjoy a picnic.
Down in the valley the sun was shining again.
Hilary and Wilder don’t really need a neckline – they are joined at the hip anyway ;-)
On a different day we sledded to the Sissanki Lap Hut where we cooked lunch over the open fire.
The dogs rested peacefully on the stakeout while we had lunch but woke up when four dog teams from the local sled dog operator Hetta Huskies passed by the hut. If you ever visit Enontekiö as a tourist I recommend looking up Hetta Huskies. They offer activities year round and take excellent care of their dogs. Many of their sled dogs are rehabilitated rescue dogs.
Titan and Lyra doing a snow roll together.
Lyra has grown into a super sled dog. She loves to work and seems to have endless energy. Lyra is probably the one among our dogs who requires most exercise but as long as she gets her daily run she’s happy and content and a very sweet dog to have around – she loves to give kisses!
Hilary too has grown into a great sled dog, both on and off the trail. While her soft looks may be deceiving she is in fact a high-energy dog like Lyra, who needs lots of daily exercise to be happy. That’s something to remember if you’re new to the breed and interested in buying a Malamute; they are gorgeous looking dogs but unless you are willing to take your dog sledding / skijoring / biking / hiking / running, regardless of the weather, on a daily basis – this breed is probably not for you.
Tuisku’s son Fi Ch Tulisalon Northern Shaman, aka Joiku (Keikewabic’s Tundra Tuisku x Night Trail Full Moon Whispers), won Best of Breed and was awarded Best Mover at the Finnish National Specialty show on April 12, 2014, under judge Marianne Holm. We send out big congratulations to Joiku’s breeder Susanna Kauppi and to his owners Jenni Holopainen and Jarmo Leppänen of kennel IcyStar’s!!
Jenni Holopainen together with BISS Fi Ch Tulisalon Northern Shaman and BOSS Lumikeijun Birta Katla who is owned by Sonja Sarmaala. Congratulations to everyone involved!
In between our trips to the fells we spend time taking care of chores at the cabin. Snow need to be cleared from the roof before it starts melting and firewood must be cut, split and stacked in preparation for next autumn. There are many things that need to be done at certain times of the year when you live in a climate that is harsh and unforgiving. This year it looks like winter will linger well into May as we still have around 70 cm of hard packed snow and the daytime high stays below freezing. Maybe it is because of the snow that we haven’t seen a single raindeer around the cabin or in the village since we arrived? Normally they are parked right outside the kennel area all winter…
After a hard day’s work everyone deserves a Malamute hug
Someone said that Lapland is a place where heaven touches the earth and I think it’s true, especially on a sunny day in spring. When the sky is blue and you’re up above the treeline, it feels as if you could almost reach out and touch the candy floss clouds with your hands. We had a wonderful time out on the trail and I’ve taken lots of photos that I’ve uploaded to a gallery. Below are some of our favourite moments from a trip that can be summed up by “perfect weather and perfect dogs”
Hello mountains here we come!
The dogs ran like clockwork, despite not having had much training on snow this winter.
Titan and Lyra teamed up well.
Me & our Miss Congeniality aka Hilary.
Fredrik setting up our tent in the snow – clear skies meant a cold night but we managed with reindeer hides and down sleeping bags. I kept my feet warm wearing nuvttagat.
From left to right – Wilder, Hilary, Titan and Lyra.
This was Wilder’s first multiday excursion and he did everything we asked from him – worked like a pro in front of the pulk and slept quietly on the stakeout at night. His big sis is a good teacher!
You could almost touch the sky here.
This was around 8.00 o’clock in the morning – we got up when it was still dark to feed the dogs and when we hit the trail a couple of hours later we had it all to ourselves.
Love my new small-sized Polaris sled – it glides on the snow like a dream.
Lyra found herself a good lookout spot – she likes to keep an eye on everything that’s going on.
Titan doing his signature snow roll ;-)
♥ Happiness is tired dogs ♥
The yearning for snow became so strong that we decided to travel up to Lapland for a couple of weeks of real winter! There are HEAPS of snow in Lapland and everything is just the way it should be in April: heavy snowfall one day, brilliant sunshine the next and the trails are still frozen and fast. We’ve brought along Hilary, Wilder, Lyra and Titan and look forward to a fun holiday together. Lapland in April is pure bliss
Finally some snow !!!
During our trip to Drevdagen in February we met up with Toni Chrillesen of Unavoq Alaskan Malamutes who was holidaying in Dalarna together with family, friends and Malamutes. Toni had a litter after our Tuisku in 2010 and two pups from the litter, Shila and Tocho, were in Dalarna on holiday. We took some pics of Tocho who reminded us a lot of his daddy in both personality and looks – a smiley, happy boy with an active and outgoing personality. It was great fun to catch up with Toni and meet Tuisku’s kids for the first time; maybe we’ll see them again next year
Unavoq’s Extreme North Tocho at 3.5 years of age.
His daddy Tuisku at 8 years of age.
The coat is shorter but the resemblance is still obvious. They both have a star at the centre of the forehead – although Tuisku’s has faded a little as he has gotten older.
.♥ Tocho and Tuisku at 6 and 5 weeks of age ♥
We’ve been away on a quick visit to Dalarna to meet with Ian and Aimee and Mark and Allison from the UK who are in Sweden on holiday together with their Alaskan Malamutes. Ian and Aimee own Hilary’s full siblings Leader and Twisp (from a different breeding) and this year it was premiere for Twisp’s pups, Rolo, Sasha and Rossi, to gain some working experience on snow. We spent two sunny days together in Drevdagen in northwestern Dalarna which has plenty of beautiful trails and is quickly becoming a popular vacation spot for mushers from all over Europe. It was a lovely break from the dull weather we have had on the coast this winter and a great chance for Hilary and Wilder to share trail with two teams of friendly dogs. We had plenty of opportunities to train passings and trail etiquette which is an invaluable experience, especially for a young dog like Wilder. It doesn’t look that far on the map but it took about twelve hours to drive down to Dalarna (including breaks for the dogs) but it was well worth it!
Wilder and Hilary together with Leader and Twisp.
Ian with the Packice team – Leader and Twisp in lead, Sasha in team and Dash and Rolo in wheel.
Mark and his team out on the snowy trail.
On the first day Fredrik and I skijored with one dog each. The trails were quite heavy in some places.
Hilary and Fredrik passing by!
So much snow – the dogs were in seventh heaven!
On the second day, Wilder and Hilary worked in front of our new Polaris Nordic sled.
Wilder at 13 months of age.
It was fun to spend some time with “the twins” and we could see many familiar Mountain Home traits. Leader and Twisp were born in 2010 and are one year older than Hilary.
It was also fun to get to know Twisp’s lovely nine-month-old pups. Rolo is the name of the handsome boy looking through the fence.
Fredrik and I stayed at the cosy Mon Gård in Storbo, just a short drive from Drevdagen.
Snow is lacking in many parts of Sweden this winter – but not here!
Thank you Aimee, Ian, Allison and Mark for a great time! We hope to see you again next year!
My mother and I went on a trip to Lapland this weekend to visit the Jokkmokk Market. This 400-year-old winter market is one of the main events of the Sámi calendar and an important weekend also for non-Sámis living in the north of Sweden. Held over three days in February each year, the Jokkmokk Market is a great time to meet friends from all over Sápmi and to enjoy Sámi handicrafts, music, food and design. If you are planning a visit to northern Sweden next winter, don’t miss out on this fun and colourful event!
A pretty Sámi girl wearing traditional clothing and nuvttagat.
The reindeer is central to Sámi society and was the theme for this year’s market.
Among many things, I fell in love with these pretty shoes from Karin Vasara. It’s my birthday tomorrow, *hint hint* ;-)
Three young Sámi men visiting the food market.
Wool shoe liners/socks for cold winter days.
The Jokkmokk Market is a dangerous place to visit if you have a sweet tooth!
This year’s market was not only about trading and having fun, it was also a platform for protests against the British company Beowulf Mining plc that is carrying out test mining activities in Gállok near Jokkmokk – an area that is environmentally sensitive and located just outside Laponia, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gállok is an important part of Sámi reindeer winter pasture and situated near one of our absolute favourite areas for dog sledding. It would be a tragedy not only for the Sámi people if the nature in this area was exploited. As always, the wealth created by mining companies (if any) is ephemeral, while the damages they cause are often irreversible.
This interesting Al Jazeera documentary explains how mining activities in Gállok and Lapland are threatening to permanently change the world as we know it. Watch it if you have 25 minutes to spare.