Under great Northern Lights

Team by a river.
This winter has been just great. We've had enough snow and cold weather to do longer trips and the team "oldies" have been in great shape (it's true like Dr. Cooper says: "my mother had me tested".) It's not that I'm paranoid (I am) but if I have to take one dog to the vet I'll take them all and make sure they double-check our team "veterans". Poor Odessa just gave kisses for nurses when they tried to find her vein for a blood test and didn't understand she was being stung with a needle. By the way, taking blood work for each dog of a team in the beginning of the sledding season is a great idea and you can be sure to train strong and healthy animals.

We've been sledding a lot. With new trails in new places and with no trails at all. This time of year it's getting way too warm but it also has it's advantages. When the snow freezes over after having melt in the sun it's durable enough to carry the dogs and the sled (sometimes you can walk on the snow without snowshoes). This means we can go anywhere we want and the best routes are found by the rivers and frozen marshes. But you need to go out early enough or you will find yourself in the middle of the forest standing in waist deep snow because the sun melts the snow back into slush.

Unfortunately we rarely have our camera with us so I don't have too many photos. I can only describe how awesome it is to sled with the dogs at night under a starry sky when it is bright enough to travel without a headlamp. Only a quiet sound of the runners and occasional crack from frozen trees in the complete silence. Dogs running to a smooth rhythm and shadows of the forest moving slowly. And then. Mists like green shadows in the sky - the northern lights. This is it.

Beautiful forest.

The fan hitch in use when crossing over the lake Loitimo.

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