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Lake Hopping

by Tara

Today, we are making ourselves at home in Finland. We've ditched the itineraries we found online, and are simply winging it as we head north towards the Arctic Circle. Feeling as free as we did on our bicycles, we poke along, likely to the annoyance of drivers who speed past us, doing the kind of traveling we love best.

We break frequently to take lots of photos of our surroundings:

Pretty Blue Flower & Fly

We stop to check out this shed, and take a peek inside only to find that it is empty.

Mystery Shed Door

We pass more sheds and wonder what in the world they are for?

One of Many Mystery Sheds

I admire the thousands of birch trees that populate the countryside. I love how their bark peels like paper, and gather some to send home to Tyler's brothers and sisters.

Birch Tree

At a grocery store, I pick up the quintessential refreshing summer snack: watermelon. Then, we decide to find a lake at which to eat it. This is not difficult. Within a few minutes, we are stopped at a rest-area, eating our fill.

Watermelon Snack LRC by the Lake

Like a pair of six year olds covered in watermelon juice, we run to the lake, strip down, and jump in to rinse the stickiness away.

Happy Tara Swimming Tara Frolicking

Tyler leaps in, of course!

Tyler Leaping In Tyler Splashing

Thus begins a new habit: lake hopping. From now on, we'll make a point to camp by lakes and go swimming as much as possible.

Finnish Lake

Back on the road, we crank up the radio and roll the windows down. I love having the fresh air blow my hair around. When the radio announcer says something about "Windy", I am shocked to hear the American oldie sung in Finnish!

Finnish Countryside LRC in the Finnish Countryside

When we're tired of driving, we go in search of a good lakeshore free-camp. Most side roads have little houses at the end of them, but after several failed attempts, we discover a secluded boat-slip. There, we park the car and make our home for the night.

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The first blue flower looks like the campanula I have in my back yard and the purple spikes at the end of the journal entry are lythrum, also in my back yard right here in Illinois, near Champaign. Amazing!
Posted by Joyce Sigler on July 15th, 2010 at 11:56 AM
i think that shack might be a school bus stop (for the winter months when there is lots of snow and its cold!)
Posted by j. on July 16th, 2010 at 12:05 AM
Joyce - I love all of your comparisons between the flora and fauna where we are, and back home. It's so true! I find that much of the world we've seen so far looks... the same. Sometimes it is frustrating because it doesn't seem 'exotic', but it also makes me think of home, which is nice.

j - That makes a lot of sense. I think you are probably right! :-)
Posted by Tara on July 28th, 2010 at 4:12 PM
I know this is a bit late, but the shack is called "maitolaituri" and it's meant for milk barrels. These were in regular use some twenty years ago when farms still left produce in them to be picked up. Since the agricultural/milk industry has developed most of these shacks are not used anymore, they're merely a decorative element, something that essentially belongs to the old, idyllic Finnish countryside.

Anyway! I just found your site & am already totally addicted. Beautiful photography and exciting stories. I'm thinking of travelling the Trans-Siberian Railway next summer so I'm reading about your Siberian journeys right now.
Posted by E on December 19th, 2010 at 5:38 PM
It is never too late to learn something new, thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about the milk sheds, Elina!

Good luck with your travel plans, and be sure to take what Evgeniy has to say about the rails with a grain of salt :)

PS: We had a look at your website and Etsy shop. Very cool stuff!
Posted by Tyler on December 20th, 2010 at 12:57 PM
Oh, thanks! I'm glad to hear you liked it.

Yeah, I've been pondering about the railway thing; it would be quick and pretty easy and I really like railways.. but it's true what Evgeniy says, it might get very annoying (and plain boring) especially if one wants to visit the smaller places. Luckily I've been to Russia several times so I kind of know what to expect, it's just always so hard to decide!

Wishing you a beautiful midwinter & smooth travels!
Posted by E on December 22nd, 2010 at 2:26 AM