...here in Rovaniemi, which for me means that this is probably the last time I'll have to light a fire under the engine of the bike to warm it up from -33°C and wait for half an hour before I try to start it.
But in all honesty I'm going to miss winter.
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, so how about I give you a quick ten thousand word summary of why I'll be missing winter.....
Everything becomes more difficult in the cold, and much more difficult living on a motorcycle in the cold in winter. However, due to the fact that it's a challenging season, it also lends itself to being a very physical season for ones lifestyle.
You can't be too sedentary in winter. You need to keep moving in the cold, otherwise you'll just end up freezing to death. Ergo, winter is a season of heightened activity for most people, whether you like it or not. I like this aspect of my winter travels, that it forces me to move, or rather doesn't allow me to be lazy. And I know myself by now. If I can take it easy, I will.
I'm very happy about how I am living my life right now. Not so much 5 + years ago, but now I'm ok with myself, and very ok with what I'm doing. Even though my travels and direction could be, and have been, considered a very selfish and hedonistic pursuit, or, as one commenter on my DownShift YouTube video put it "Self to the max" he said, "go find homeless kids in Lagos and help them through the day", I do feel like I'm adding something to this life on planet earth.
Meanwhile, back in Rovaniemi I got my U.S.A. fix fixed the other day, a double header actually. The Artikum Museum and Arctic Science Centre here in Rovaniemi were having a lecture and photo presentation by Dr. Don Pettit, an American Astronaut and a really great photographer. On the ISS no less. Who, as far as I'm concerned, has the worlds most enviable photographers position.
Dr. Don has no less than 10 Nikon DSLR's on the ISS and the most spectacular views of planet earth to shoot with them.
Nothing comes close to shooting the Aurora Borealis from the International Space Station as it cruises above the earth at an altitude of over 200 miles high and at a speed of over 17,200 miles per hour.
The Artikim Museum and Arctic Science Centre, Rovaniemi, Finland.
Attending the Don Pettit lecture on Space Photography was my second visit to the Artikum Museum.
Both of these color prints are circa 1900 and I found them on Wikipedia and include them here as a fascinating look back in time. As photographs I found myself staring at them for quite some time. They have an otherworldly quality to them.
I could extend this post for quite a long time, delving into the Sámi culture, the how's, why's, land boundaries, territories, culture and so on. In fact, the more research I do about Lappland and it's people and history, the more I feel I could probably do a whole months worth of articles about this subject and still have more to write about.
Through Heikki, the Karu MC club president, I got to meet Ari and Irene Kangnesniemi, who have a traditional handicraft business called Hornwork.
Ari and Irene carry on the old traditions of the Sámi and Lappish culture of jewelry making, artistic handicrafts, knives, drums, chandeliers that Ari makes from reindeer antler, all different types of Lappish handmade items. As their website says "Lappish nature is our material".
And interestingly, a blog commenter from Australia left me a note to look up Irene and Ari while I was in Rovaniemi. Small world.
My visit to Ari and Irene at Hornwork last week was where I received my gift from Irene of a really nice Moose antler, so it got grafted onto the front of my outfit. Kiitos Irene. Kiitos is Finnish for thank you.
Irene also sent me away with some Lappish food gifts, some reindeer meat, some frozen fish that Ari caught earlier in the year and a traditional fish dish here in Finland of Muikku in tomato sauce.
I paid them a visit yesterday and brought them both a pot of the reindeer soup that I made with the reindeer meat they gifted me. I let it simmer for 4 hours and the flavor of the reindeer chops in the soup was amazing.
Irene is such a vibrant person. She just has a really has good energy about her.
More on Ari, Irene and Hornwork in next weeks post.
And, this weeks photos and many more photos too were brought to you by Computer Network Solutions in Arizona in the USA.
I had a "Dohh" moment last week while trying to free up more start up disk space. I just went in and deleted my downloads file and somehow it deleted nearly 70GB of RAW file and Jpeg images from my Lightroom4 program. I was sick to my stomach as I hadn't backed up those files. So I called Alan at CNS and thanks to him and the installation of DiscWarrior recovery program, I have a lot of files recovered. Kiitos Alan. Alan has been a great friend since our meeting at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2010 and has got me out of some difficult computer situations over the course of the last 2 years. Thanks for your continued support and friendship Alan.
Again, I hope you all enjoyed the read. The comments section is now open, please feel free to vent and leave me your thoughts.
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