Iso-Syöte, part 1

Most of the evening I ponder whether I came here to hike or to take pictures. Can’t quite figure it out.
The question is if I should go and live two more days in the forest or stay here and make daytrips. In the end daytrips win. It was somehow complicated to create a route in Iso-Syöte based on internet data, more frost is forecasted, long dark evenings, and comfort of course.
Accommodation is located more or less exactly between Riisitunturi and Iso-Syöte national parks. Iso-Syöte has 200 and 300 years old forest and an enduring flying squrrel population. Being also the northern limit for flying squirrels.
Road there crosses county border, I enter Pohjois-Pohjanmaa. If something is more north from North-Northland then it’s Lapland. It’s suitably the national holiday for Sami people. Radio says it would be between 15 and 25 degrees in northern Finland. My car says minus 32 and drops to minus 33 after a while. It’s so cold that it’s not even slippery anymore. Everything is blue-white.
Radio advertises Iso-Syöte as being the southernmost tundra and since it’s also a place for mountain skiing it has an air of crowdedness on it. In real life I happen to be the only guest in the visitors’ center. I get a map and recommendations where it’s good to snowshoe, where to ski slow and where fast. There’s one snow-covered car on the parking lot, snow carefully cleared from around it. They must be used here to a situation where people go to the forest and stay there.
I take snowshoes for a change since these are all the time in the car anyway. The trail hits a mystery forest right away. One person has walked here but then flown away and I can make new prints on the snow. No-one to see the whole time, a rabbit has used the trail in the night. The trail climbs up Teerivaara, circles there and comes back down on the other side. From up there is a view over hilly forests until horizon, frozen treetrunks everywhere. Limp birches seem to float above ground. Silence. Sun is all day low this time of year, creates long shadows and draws lines on the snow. It is not possible to remain still for long, toes and fingers freeze. Later there’s soup and coffee in the visitors’center.
The most popular song in the radio now seems to be this one
Of other news it was reported that the magnetic north refuses to stay put. Spetcialist’s comment: ’The average user is not going to be overly affected by this unless they happened to be trekking around the high Arctic.’ Good to know.
one more round in Riisitunturi
Iso-Syöte, part 2

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