Monday, February 13, 2012

Of Course We Got Stuck in the Snow

Just another afternoon in rural Finland
I know that living in Finland is supposed to be one big adventure. But there are some experiences I could live without -- the deer/elk hitting Tom's car, me falling on the ice, etc. Well, now we have a new experience to add to that category -- our car got stuck in the snow. And I mean really stuck.

Add this to our adventures in Finland 
One of Tom's co-workers told him about this place about an hour and a half north of Pori where you can go dog sledding and snowmobiling. I really want to ride in a dogsled, so we decided to drive up there Sunday to check it out. Of course, we got lost. But the place is in the middle of nowhere, and I mean nowhere. No signs, dinky country roads. We even went back to the little town of Kankaanpaa and got directions from a very nice girl working in a store. Turns out we had been in the right area but hadn't gone far enough.

The scary thing was those country roads were covered with a fresh coat of snow, and it was snowing again. And the snowplows that are all over the highways don't bother with these country roads.

At least we weren't the only ones who got stuck
Since we couldn't tell where the road began and ended, it was very scary. Then, a car comes barreling toward us, and he obviously thought he should have the entire road. Tom edged over to the right to avoid a collision, and we immediately sunk in the snow. And a woman behind us did the same thing.

The jerk in the oncoming car kept on going. One guy stopped, but he didn't have any equipment to help us out. But fortunately for us, the very nice lady who also got stuck spoke fairly good English, and she called someone to come help us. This guy was wonderful. He brought shovels and a tether, and he literally saved us from freezing to death in the middle of nowheresville. It took a lot of shoveling and pulling, but both cars finally got out of the mess.

Getting a tow
It was the fresh snow that was the problem, because you literally cannot tell where the road ended on the sides. And the guy who helped us said don't feel bad, because lots of people get stuck. We were just so thankful that it happened during daylight hours and that the temperature was in the 20s and not below zero like it had been last week.

We were still about 10 kilometers from the alleged dog sled place, but we were so stressed out about driving even further into the unplowed tundra that we turned around and headed back. Plus, it would have been almost dark it we had stayed around another hour, and we certainly weren't going to drive through there after dark.

Luna had a coat like mine!
I didn't get to see the sled dogs, but at least I met the lady's very fashionable dog, Luna. And while we were waiting for rescue, a man in a buggy with a horse trotted by -- definitely postcard-worthy.

But most of all, we once again experienced the Finnish hospitality. Before we moved here, I had read that Finns were not outgoing and reticent to talk to strangers. That is totally untrue. Most Finns have been very friendly and helpful. Lucky for us!

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