Who let me drive?
Apparently it took a trip to northern Finland to get me on a machine. And not just once, but three times in as many days.
And right into snow banks, apparently. I could feel the machine being pulled and my Canadian winter driving instincts kicked in – I eased off the throttle and only gently tried to steer against the pull. What I should have done, instructed later by my snowmobiling friend back home, was to follow her poetic advice: “if in doubt, throttle out!” I now know for next time.
The irony was that I had tipped it just meters before the parking spot. Moments earlier I had been sitting inside a warm kota, sipping sweet hot fruit juice and roasting sausages, learning about the myths and realities of aurora borealis from our guide. Pete was outside, standing knee-high in a pile of snow, taking photo after photo, hoping to capture the elusive lights with his lens even though his eyes couldn’t see them. He burst back in to coax us out when the green had appeared. They were beginning, with no doubt, and our guide suggested that we pack up and head to higher ground.
By the time we raced through the woods, tipped the machine, righted it, and set the camera back up to capture the lights, the aurora had not improved and actually appeared to be dimming. Pete and I were eager to wait it out but our time was winding up, and those around us began to shiver from the cold while our slight adrenaline rush combated that on our behalf.
My ego crushed a little, Pete drove from the silence of the woods towards the bright lights of Rovaniemi. I held tight on back as we dodged trees and bounced over ridges in the snow. The grin on my face would last the night and well into the next day after we boarded machines again to visit a reindeer farm down river. As a part of a large group, the scene on the river was busier by daylight and the going was slower.
Which was a good thing, I suppose, as it kept me in check. Because all I wanted to do was test my limits once again.
how to do it
In Rovaniemi, Lapland Safaris offers a wide variety of excursions and we were thrilled to get to test out two. Tipping the snowmobile was solely my own fault and the guides were quick to respond and absolutely attentive.
This post was produced by us, brought to you by Visit Finland.