Friday, September 3, 2010

{finland, day 11, part I, vuokatti}

day 11 of our finland trip:
first we visited some relatives who live on a farm.
then we headed to vuokatti, which is a bit east of kajaani.
we drove to the top of the ski hill and hiked a bit. enjoyed the gorgeous scenary.

i don't put family pictures here that often anymore (i keep a private family blog for them) but here's two for ya. this is us on top of the vuokatti hill.

at the bottom of the hill is a car racing place. what a genius idea to utilize the ski lifts in the summer by hauling race cars up the hill and then letting go so you can speed down the hill. i tell you, i had a huge smile on my face the whole time. we each got to go down five times.
sienna got to race the kids' cars and she was all smiles too. this little girl loves speed. i loved seeing her face as she zoomed down the hill. she looked like she was having a blast. we all did. this was awesome!
my dear husband got the fastest time but my mother-in-law's time was only tiny bit slower. jay didn't use his breaks at all the last time and ended up crashing to the tires and couldn't finish. he was trying to break the track record. :)
i was disappointed in my time. i love speed but wasn't sure if you could go down the hill without breaking as much as i did. they guy told me to use breaks so i did. if i had realized you could have gone faster, i would have! next time! :)
what a thrill!
jay's mom. what an awesome lady!
then we visited the ski tunnel. i didn't even know this exists. another cool idea! cross-country skiing year round. we weren't dressed appropriately, of course, so we only took a quick look at the place. sienna had a quick ride on the kicksled. they're so much fun!
here's some info on the ski tunnel:
The Ski Tunnel idea was initially thought of in the 1980’s. There was a clear need for stable training conditions for competition skiers. In the summer, these conditions could and can only be found at high altitudes– for example on glaciers above 1900 m. These are not good training conditions, however. They require daily travel and altitude adjustment. After seeing snow making in laboratory conditions in Italy, the founders put the ski tunnel plans in motion. Construction of the highly innovative Ski Tunnel began in April 1997 and was completed in eight months. In its early years, the automotive industry used the tunnel for testing. Today the tunnel is exclusively used for Skiing...
The winter weather conditions in the tunnel are optimal –there is snow and fresh air, temperature is controlled to optimise conditions. Because the conditions are stable, weather related risks and inconveniences are not a factor. An advanced ventilation system provides humidity control and good air quality. Humidity, levels are measured with the air and snow temperature and the air-conditioning in the tunnel are monitored and controlled by computer technology. The inside air and snow temperatures are normally between -5 and -9 °C, but can be dropped to -18 °C if needed; even ice formation is possible. The tunnel air is completely exchanged every four hours. The snow making system consists of high-pressure cannons that replenish the trails’ surface at night or when required. The carbon dioxide levels are continuously measured so the amount of fresh and exhaust air always correspond to the actual demand controls the ventilation. This avoids any unnecessary load on the refrigeration system when there are no activities in the tunnel.
The tunnel is open from early June to December and also in winter at times when it is too cold to ski outdoors. Skiers from all over the world come here to train The main attraction is the 1.2 km Ski Tunnel, which has a 2.4 km natural snow surface ski track. With curving trails and hills, the conditions are similar to natural outdoor ski trails in every respect. In the first-snow season there is a connection from the tunnel to the outdoor tracks and biathlon stadium. The first-snow track outdoors opens every year on 10th October.
(text from:
we ate at a restaurant at the katinkulta hotel before heading back "home" to the horse ranch.
more on that in the next posting. :)

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