We pulled into the car park area, Kaisa my fiance, Nogah my dog and I. It's sure been a while since i stepped on this land, or at least it certainly felt like it. Funny how you can remember every little detail about a place that you haven't been to in years. I felt good about my myself. 52 years into life and my memory hasn't been on top form lately. This was an ego boost.
I was surprised to see many cars here. This Corona virus has made the people of Finland look inwards towards their own country's beauty spots and National Parks. No-one wants to travel outside the country's borders too much it seems. In some ways i find it quite nice, but at times it can be quite bothersome, as nearly all the fireplace sites have someone sitting there, and you can't find any solitude, which is the reason mainly for me being there. Today though was a family day. An escape into nature. With Nogah. He needed it more than we did. Our first steps onto the dirt showed that straight away, for he bounced and ran around like a little puppy again. Dogs can smile.
Hiidenportti was established in 1982 and is known for its gorge with sheer vertical walls that rise up to at least 20 meters in height. In addition there are many mires and deep forest landscapes to trample though. Where there are no earthen tracks, duckboards take you over the wet mash areas that open up from the enclosure of the old growth trees. A moment of fresh air it seems, before the track appears again at the beginning of a tree line.
Hiidenportti area is 42 km² and it has a rocky and gnarly track running through it. Old tree roots run all over the earthen tracks and stumbling is inevitable. Patience is required and sure footing a must. Not a problem for Nogah though, this little Lapphund is having a blast, new smells and wet puddles are a joy to behold.
We reached the gorge and climbed the new metal steps to the top, and look down upon the deep black waters below. It is a sheer drop by any means, and i'm still astonished that the only thing saving you from death or a really, really bad day, is two thin ropes widely spaced and held by a metal pole embedded into the ground. Coming from the UK where everything is Health & Safety, and almost childlike in its structure, to save you from anything, that you might even think of befalling you. Here at least common sense still rules, and you are allowed to decide for yourself how much you are willing to risk your life and others.
It started raining, so i set up the Hilleberg tarp. A few minutes later we was all safe from the drizzle and even Nogah seemed to appreciate the comfort. We boiled some water for coffee and ate a prepared sandwich from the backpack. The pitter patter of rain was becoming louder and and we all shuffled closer to the middle. Life is good i thought. For me, this is what it's all about! We all three, have had to encounter many problems in our lives, and we have solved each one, through communication, love and of course sheer stubbornness, but we have kept together as a group, a pack. Even Nogah had big troubles when he was slightly younger. He was anesthetized by a local vet for having his toenails cut (he really hates it) and when given the induction jab to bring him out of the anesthetic, he then went into a series of epileptic fits. These lasted for a few weeks and it was a horrible experience for both of us to watch the contortions and yelping of intense pain from your beloved friend.
Overcoming suffering is what i understand life is about. It's a series of lessons that you have to complete before you can move on to the next lesson of improvement. The ideology behind it? i feel it is too improve yourself as a human being, to gain a higher level of consciousness, a higher understanding of what is. And If that isn't it, well, you got me...but what i do know is..Without suffering we cannot grow spiritually.
Huddled under the small tarp, in the rain with my life partners, was one of my best experiences. This was awesome! I'm glad we came here.
Shortly afterwards, while heading back, i fell down three flights of the metal steps, each one greeting my right elbow and lower back, hard. I screamed, and later on laughed.
A day in the life of us! Ah memories.