Sisu’s home is in Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Well, Finland has 186,000+ lakes. Or: 5.5 million people, 2 million cars, 3 million saunas.
One of the lakes, Lake Saimaa, hosts one of the rarest of species of seals in the world, saimaannorppa. This species was cut off from access to the seas at the end of the latest ice age, and has a population of less than 400 today. In an effort to help protect the species, WWF sets up a webcam every spring, providing an opportunity to watch these lively fellows enjoy life.
Sisu wants to go to Finland!
Next stop on the tour: Bozeman, Montana. Mountain Hot Tub, a Finnleo dealer, had invited Sisu for a visit. On the agenda was plenty of sauna, food off a wood fired pizza oven, barbecue sandwiches, etc. All in good company at the Mountain Hot Tub Open House on this fine Tuesday afternoon.
A remarkably good number of people came to say hello to Sisu, and to check out Finnleo saunas on display at Mountain Hot Tub. Bozeman must be sauna country! A large pool was made available inside in the showroom for people to dip in in between and after their sauna sessions. Hey, where’s the staff? On the sauna bench, of course! Check out the video clips also on Traveling Sauna Facebook page.
Sisu wishes to thank Kelly King and his staff for the wonderful afternoon in Bozeman! If you live in the Bozeman area, and are looking for a sauna or a tub, you will want to check out Mountain Hot Tub. Their selection of saunas covers the whole range from wood and electric heaters to infra red and electric/infra red combos.
After Bozeman, Sisu continued east, destination: Moorhead, Minnesota, mere 750 miles away. While mountains are exciting and provide wonderful views, Sisu welcomed the easier travel ahead.
Wednesday was a travel day. Sisu planned to cover as much of the distance as possible as a group of Finns in Bismarck, ND had invited Sisu for a lunch. Unfortunately, a flat tire near Miles City, MT scuttled those plans. Thank you, Bismarck Finns, for the invitation! Sorry we weren't able to make it.
If you are looking for a place to visit in the summer, Sisu recommends Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Sisu wasn’t able to tour the park but the scenery looked fantastic! We even saw bison from the freeway! Medora, ND is a gateway to the park and, in the summer, looks to be a hopping place, providing lodging and your western themed relaxation.
Thursday was spent on the road as well, through the rolling hills and farm landscape of North Dakota. Traffic was light but North Dakota offers its own surprises. Does anyone know what's in the picture below? A giant cow on a hill in North Dakota? No way!
The Red River Finns, along with the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County and the Nordic Culture Clubs-Scandinavian Festival had teamed up to arrange a sauna party at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, MN for Friday and Saturday, April 28-29. And, what a party it was!
We were treated with clear skies and 60 F temperatures. Note: It had snowed a couple of inches the day before. Spring weather in North Dakota/northern MN is unpredictable, to say the least.
Log the Sauna, a project by the Folkways, also arrived on site. Their setup is impressive with a changing tent, lawn chairs and tables, the whole nice yards! Connect with Joe and Simone if you are looking for some good steam and camaraderie in your back yard!
Friday was sauna and lawn games, with the Red River Finns on site with coffee, cookies and information about their organization and activities. Boot tossing appeared to be the game of the day. Probably, because Sisu brought along a native instructor and a "tosser extraordinaire", Timo "Prinssi" Kovanen, to teach the secrets for record breaking throws.
Saturday morning opened with a local band, Suomi Rosvot, playing tunes, and a proclamation from the Mayor of Moorhead declaring April 29 as “Finland 100 Day in Moorhead, MN”. Way to go, Moorhead and Red River Finns!
More sauna, lawn games, coffee & cookies, and just "a good time"! Governor of North Dakota, Mr. Doug Burgum stops by. If Sisu understood correctly, Mr. Burgum made a promise to declare December 6, 2017 as “Finland 100 Day in North Dakota”. Ellen Liddle, Sisu trusts you will be following up on the promise!
|From left: Joe "Log the Sauna" (nice shirt!), Mrs. Burgum, Risto, Governor Burgum, Ellen Liddle.|
It was hard to pack up after the two days. Sisu had such a good time in Moorhead! Thank you, Ellen Liddle, Markus Krueger, Simone and Joe, and everyone else who hosted Sisu in Moorhead.
From Moorhead, Sisu headed back home to the Twin Cities. Sisu will be staying in the Upper Midwest for May, June, July and August, visiting events and places in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan. Stay tuned!
Background music courtesy of Martti Servo & Napander.
Sisu’s full schedule and up-to-date calendar, please click here.
Finland Centennial Calendar in the US, please click here.
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