Not just about taking a Nordic ski trip when our best buddies--Jeff & Carrie--are in Whistler whooping it up gliding downhill and giving in to gravity. But this ole word mason has had to do some math.
First of all, converting miles into meters, or rather kilometers. Over and over I wrestle with the distances we'll have to travel daily--46 to 84 k. Yikes. That's roughly 28 to 52 miles a day on my legs. . .certainly more miles than I put on my car.
And then there's the temperature, converting Fahrenheit into Celsius. Panu wrote today from Oivanki near Kuusamo that the temperature this morning was -20 c which equals -4 f. A bit chilly, but we know how to dress.
And then there's the issue of converting currency--not just where to do it--but where to get the best exchange rate?
After a Public Radio story this morning I wish we could skip that part. We don't need to know two days before departure that the euro has hit an all time high against the dollar, 1.52 to a greenback. I can see Ron's expression, shaking his head, thinking about losing such a hefty percentage of his buying power.
Dang. What lousy timing to travel abroad.
Because, to my knowledge, no where else on the planet can you actually ski a groomed track across a COUNTRY.
Leave it to the Finns.
We live in Marquette County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a skier's paradise. And it has been for over a century. After all, we're home to the US National Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame. Yoopers (that's what we call folks who live in Michigan's U.P.) grow up with a passion for the outdoors and skiing and it's why we have miles of groomed trails that in the summer turn into world class mountain biking. But even as fanatical as we are about adventuring under our own power, we don't have a trail that crosses our county from end to end. The closest we get is our annual Noquemanon marathon the last weekend in January when we groom a 51 k trail from Ishpeming to Marquette. That alone takes hundreds of hours for an army of volunteers to prepare. . .I can only imagine what a 440 k trail from the Russian border to the Swedish border must entail.
Once again, leave it to those Finns.
And to top it off, this is the 25Th anniversary of the Rajalta Rajalle Hiihto. When I stop to think, that means they've been doing this week long event for longer than I've been a mother. Even before cell phones. (Yes, Virginia, there was a time when you went out in the woods to explore WITHOUT a telephone. )
Granted, this may not be the most cost effective ski vacation Ron and I have ever taken, but I'm banking that traveling at a steady rate of return this 440 k will deposit some very rich memories in our "long term" savings account.