old soldiers just fade away
Every time we drive to the exercise grounds we pass a juncture. I don’t remember how long ago it was when I looked it up on the map, but today was the first time I managed to get down that road. According to our maps, it leads to Võhma mires and so called Võhma island which is surrounded by mires and Soodla river. The map shows some ruins on the island. The map also shows a road connecting there clearings, but occasionally it disappears. I was interested if it still possible to follow that road. And as i was near the Võhma mire itself then visit it also and ski over this old Soviet airforce and artillery target area called Jussi nõmm.
It was seriously cold in the morning, but eased up during the day. (termomeetri pilt)
I decided not to follow the road, but cut through the forest to a clearer patch of the mire. That got me a bit disorientated, but soon enough I was back on the trail and reached the Võhma island. Shortly before I crossed a ski-track made not long ago – maybe two days old ’cause we had some snow recently. It seems that there are more explorers around. These so-called islands used to be habituated, but now there are only ruins. Found some good camping spots in the higher ground. The road that is not on the map, actually exists and and the ski-tracks found before headed the same direction.
Found this stump, that seems like a training ground for woodpeckers or just contains extremely delicious, but evasive maggots.
Reaching the Võhma mire itself – a vast area, sparsely covered with low trees. Some trees were dead and blackened as if by fire, but I haven’t heard of recent burns there.
Now reaching the Jussi nõmm (heath). Although the morning promised low temperatures and clear skies, it didn’t happen. But when reaching this place the sun shone through clouds for about half an hour. And this became the highlight of the day. I think it was even better this way than with full sunlight all day.
After taking the pictures I headed north along the NÕMM towards Jussi lakes. On the way there I managed to get descents to test out the skis, but those measly 5 meters downhill don’t give much credit. The snow itself was pretty good and firm, but it seems that the boots restrain some control over turning.
Near the Jussi lakes are some really neat spots of a lunch break or even a night, but the latter was not planned for this time.
Heading east towards Valgejõgi and then turning south again leads back to Jussi Suurjärv and Võhma mire. The lake itself is about 2 meters lower that the mire. I first had planned to follow the edge of the mire to a road leading back to my car, but halfway there decided to take a quick look at the bog pools in the middle of the mire. Those turned out to be nothing special.
Somehow I managed to get disorientated again and reached the small lake designated with number 75. I DID plan to get there, but bot that soon. Than messed up my navigation and for the tenth time I swore to get a decent compass when I get back. I even managed to surprise myself by getting on the ski-track I myself had made in the morning. But that meant that now I exactly knew where I was. A elk had been investigating my track while I was on the other side of the mire. Actually I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t see any animals during that day. Some tracks, but nothing moving.
So after 5:30 and 19 km I was back at the car and it was still daylight. I had felt that I wasn’t moving very fast – mainly because I had taken my short walking poles – but after measuring the distance I considered it a good day and also a good training.