What kind of challenges does one face during a summer hike?
They evaluate leadership skills, camping skills and among other things, fishing skills. To check out part 1 of this little series, click here.
On this particular summer hike they also challenged my rafting skills.
After waking up at Lylyniemi we marched on towards Luomenkoski rapids where we’d hit the kayaks again. This time I wasn’t leading the group which was fine by me with my severe lack in experience. Yesterday had been exciting enough.
I believe Lumenkoski was described as “easy but swift” and you go down an s-shaped river which turned into a 180 turn on my part. I wasn’t able to correct on time. Against all instructions I spent a little while assessing the situation at the bank.
The rear-end of the kayak was going forward.
I pushed myself back to the river and tried to turn but the current was too strong and I just rafter backwards the rest of the way. I was unharmed, save for a dent on my confidence and a little water rushing in through the collar.
Fortunately I was accompanied by a bunch or jokers and wordsmiths who found a way to make this a positive experience:
“Some of us are so skilled that to challenge themselves they raft backwards.”
My legs were still shaking but I put on a brave face and soldiered on.
We spent the day at Isohiekka
We stayed at the Isohiekka wilderness hut and did three checkpoints to showcase our skills:
First aid, summertime fishing and self-evaluation.
We did the checkpoints in groups of three and excelled at removing a fish hook from a thumb, throwing a toss linen, assembling and using a fishing pole and answering some of our teacher’s questions. Not to mention where one can and cannot fish and where to get the proper permits.
We’re not evaluated solely on how we fare at these checkpoints but how we manage on the trip as a whole. One must be a team player yet self-imposed.
Self-evaluation was painful, since I’m no good at grading myself but thankfully my teachers Heikki and Keijo mostly agreed on what I ended up with.
We had dinner at Isohiekka and afterwards continued toward Runonvirta via Väännekoski rapids.
Runonvirta was a nice and more humane place to stay the night when comparing to Lylyniemi. However, I do think the furniture should be renewed in the near future.
During the evening we had all sorts of fun activities, like clothespin tag. It’s where you attempt to attach as many clothespins to your opponents while trying to prevent them from doing the same to you. It sounds incredibly silly but it was a lot of fun! Try it out!
During dinner we went through evaluations and went to bed happy because the next morning we would start our final section of this hike.
As we arrived to Varpaisniemi, we still needed to wipe the kayaks clean and rid them of any traces of sand.
After lifting them aboard the trolleys, we headed home with all this new information in our heads!
The challenges we faced made the experience that much more educational. Our previous treks have all gone according to plan, maybe even too much so.