Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Riding along the Finland/Sweden border

Looking back towards the mountains of Norway.
Exploring a hidden German bunker.  One of numerous signs of WWII activities in this area.
Morning breaks on our camp.
Sampson attacking a breakfast burrito.  Meals outside require the right bug-deterrent apparel.
Crossing a stream on our way back to the road.  We wild camp off side dirt roads like this one.
The fall moon.  Living outside allows us to be really in touch with nature.
Getting water from a well.  There is a lot of backpacker activity in this border land of Finland, Norway and Sweden and some of the backpacker huts have wells.  We also drink water straight from the flowing streams.  Very sparse human population allows the natural water to be pure and drinkable.   We've had four days of sunshine now so we choose to camp outside but if the weather is inclement we might opt for the close quarters some of the unlocked huts.backpacker huts. 
We have crossed our first border, Finland and then our second, Sweden.  We are following the Könkämäälven River which separates the two countries at this point.  Sweden had the town for our supplies so we crossed over.  The topography and scenery of Finland and Sweden in this area north of the Arctic Circle is dramatically different than that of the towering glacial mountains and fjords of Norway.  We have entered more of a tundra zone of low brush and small birch, wetlands and rivers.  Fall arrived full-on this week.  One day I noticed one dry leaf, clit-clatting across the road.  The next day the leaves were blowing by.  Golds and reds, greens turning bronze.  It’s like Finland and fall arrived together.  Wild camping has been easy.  The boys on their bikes are strong.  The serious climb near the Norway/Finland border dropped down into a roller coaster foothills landscape and then into the flats of  birch forest wetlands.  On this day off we are in the Swedish welcome centre conference room, sending electronic schoolwork and accessing learning videos on-line.  So far, all the prep work to set up distance learning for Sampson, Markos and Tarn is going smoothly!  After making camp, dinner prep and a some disc golf, the boys settle into their tent for a couple hours on their schoolwork…  I love the nights that I hear notes coming from Sampson’s travel guitar too!

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