About a 30-minute-drive and a two-hour-bike ride away from Jyväskylä is Kuusaankoski, a place that requires you to pay extra attention when inputting the name into search engines. You see, near Kouvola is a place called Kuusankoski, which is a clear favorite in all map applications and wherein lies a village named Kuusaa, whereas Laukaa has village named Kuusa. With one A. It’s all very confusing. But yeah, to save you the trouble, we recommend using one of two companies residing near Kuusaankoski: Varjola estate, Vilppulantie 51, Laukaa – or Koskikahvio cafe, Suolahdentie 657, Laukaa. You’ll get there.
It was a clear and sunny day in Kuusaankoski when we visited a week ago. Leaving Jyväskylä it was snowing heavily but once we got to Laukaa Mother Nature calmed down for a couple of hours.
Koskikahvio isn’t open during Winter but we parked our car there. The sign read it would be open again in Easter, though! We walked past the cafe and over the canal and we got to the rapids. First we saw the smaller, ”decoy rapids” that fooled us into taking a bunch of photos right then and there. But there was more to come!
The rapids are wide and gave out a constant, deafening roar. It even gave me a bit of a headache and having to raise my voice to talk didn’t really do anything. So what’s making all that noise? Water coursing on in a 90 m³/s speed. These are the largest rapids in Middle Finland. The water reminded us of coke, although long exposure photography revealed it to have a more velvet-like surface.
On the edges you need to be extremely careful during Winter because you can’t tell the difference between the ice and the ground.
We also saw a Dipper (a type of bird) in the middle of the roaring water. There was a man taking photos of the bird, I didn’t catch his name, didn’t want to disturb him. It’s important to feel the room when it comes to people you encounter in the woods – they might be there to get away from people. If you see me out there, don’t be afraid to come and have a chat!
The sun was out for a good while when Heikki and Ulla were taking pictures of the rapids. The light was just perfect, with a thin layer of clouds covering the sky later on. Spring is coming. You can tell when it’s hunger, not darkness, that’s driving you back home. We didn’t bring any food with us but luckily we avoided any conflict. We had chicken and vegetables at home but when one desires treats, one buys pizza bases and cheese and makes pizza.
On the same trip we also went to check out the Kuhankoski hydro power plant and the suspension bridge nearby. But those photos are for another time. Accompanying us was the winner of every photo contest ever, Ulla. Well, maybe not every contest but she has Hurtta’s On a Winter Hike and Partioaitta’s ”Ulkona. Perillä.” under her belt. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, she has incredible talent. Go read about her. Even our new profile picture is her handiwork!