04-May-2003 -- 68Nx23E
From the little village Merasjärvi there is a 35 km long logging road leading to Saivomuotka at the border river Muonio älv (separates Sweden and Finland). The road passes about 4 km east of the confluence point. A small road leads down to Merasjoki, according to the 1:100 000 scale map Blå kartan.
When I started the trip to Merasjärvi, I did not know if the logging road was driveable or the Merasjoki river could be passed by foot. In this time of the year the gravel roads tend to soften to a deep muddy sludge (and usually be closed) and the rivers flood. I brought a canoe to be able to cross the river if I got that far.
The logging road was partly snow-covered, partly dry gravel, but at several places the surface was soft to a depth of 10-12 cm, just as much to make driving a possible, but slow business. A few cars had been driving on the road already, so I could follow their tracks to minimise the damage to the road. At many places big rocks had frozen up to the surface and at other places big holes made detours necessary. I reached the small road to Merasjoki river without accidents, crossed a small stream on a very worn wooden bridge, then continued about 1 km until the road seemed undriveable with my little Volkswagen. This was just before the old Västerbotten - Lappland border line that is still seen as a broad cut line through the forest. I was still 3.06 km from the confluence and 2 km from Merasjoki, but I started walking on the road and snow. Surprise when I reached the river. It was so small that a winter road was built across it and it was still covered with ice at the spot. I just walked across the river. After 600 meters the winter road passed 10 meters from the confluence point. The area was partly logged during the winter and during several weeks it had been possible to drive by car all the way to the confluence. Three or four people and a dog had walked earlier this day just past the confluence point. Maybe they were confluence hunters that marked the spot by putting a big pine branch high up in a birch, see the view to the north.
The large Pessinki nature conservation area is situated just west of the confluence, and it is a pity it was not expanded 2 km further east. The area is a very northerly taiga type of forest with many big old pine trees and many birches. The elevation at the confluence point is 309 m according to the GPS (+- 15 m).