The greatest thing about the birthday of one’s country is that it’s a day off from work. Unless one has to attend the parade. Luckily not me this year so I could pull off another day skiing in the countryside. I had some work to do also so it was good that it could be done during the trip.
But again – lazy as can be so I again started at 12:30pm. And again starting from the Ohepalu hiking trail for some kilometers and then turning west towards Saksaare. Reaching that place I continued west aiming for the Kukepalu practice area where I was to mark some coordinates for the upcoming live-fir exercise. Reaching that proved not very easy, but I had plenty of time and too it easy. There were other ski tracks around, but those were much narrower than mine, but as the snow is rather compact those seemed to carry as well.
The weather was very good, with temperatures at -15 again, but sun shining at warming quite well. Had to wear only quite thin layers and moving kept me from cold. Gloves were a problem until I switched to thick mittens. Still, when you remove the mittens to do something that requires fingers, they get cold very quickly.
So with the sun getting lower already I started towards Pakasjärv. It’s a small lake in the middle of the bog. At summer I tried to reach it once, but it was too wet for my gear at that time. In a winter like this – no problem and skis are just perfect. The snow was powdery, but carried fine. After reaching the lake, headed towards the main road going through the exercise area. Went off the planned course a bit and had to go back about a 1,5 km on the road. On the road the going was rather quick, ’cause the road was icy. The edges of my skis aren’t actually that sharp so it was quite slippery also. When reaching the planned trailhead I was on the path already well known and therefore going was easy. Unfortunately some tracker vehicles had also moved on that road and it wasn’t very good path. Still a lot quicker than breaking my own path. Quickly going through the old rocket-base it was already very dark and I had the last strech to go. But it was also the worst strech ’cause it was a long-long, very straight path. There was also a smaller, partly unfrozen stream I had to cross. No problems though. Reached the car at 19:30, after being on the move for almost 7 hours and 32km.
A very good day and hopefully some more to come before everything starts to melt.