Saturday, March 7, 2009

Finnmarkslopet 2009: Part 5 - One Day to Go and the Banquet

Before I go into the details of yesterday's banquet, I'd like to introduce Mikael Jutila's team.

The main leaders are Timone, Fiksu, Kayla and Blackie. The team dogs are Cassie, 2 years old sisters Mimmi and Tahti (Star in Finnish), Baffi, Dogge, Rudi, Stuffe and Musti. Dotty stays behind as she is in heat and would destract the boys. At least I won't feel so dog-less!

My absolute favorites are Baffi, Kayla and Timone. They are all pretty excited and ready to roll 1000km across the Arctic.

The start banquet had a great program. All mushers were presented at the stage, they got their bibs and some were interviewed. A wonderful tribute to Roald Amundsen was presented and a few thoughts on the call of the wild, still present, thank to races like Finnmarkslopet, was given. A native Saami singer with an incredible voice sang songs that brought tears to eyes of even some tough mushers.

Despite the great program, all mushers were in the mountains, and last minute preps, in their minds. We had to drop off the racing sled at the restart and pack. And that's where this part ends!

Mikael with his globe - presented by Alta' s children

2 year old Mimmi

My favourite Kayla

The Alta river bank at the camp we are staying in. The trail is a dog team training trail that drops down to the river ice

The Alta fjord

Shy boy Turre

Baffi - making funny faces as usual

Destination - anywhere

Mimmi and Tahti

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