It’s not often you meet somebody who lives life to it’s full potential, but Husky Mamma is one of these people! This power-lady left city life to connect with nature, animals and herself. During our stay with Husky Mamma she taught us about the life of a husky and how she lives in harmony with the vast surrounding forest. In this post you’ll get to know more about the husky farm and the neighbouring Syöte National Park.
This post was made possible with help from the Slow Adventure in the Northern Territories (SAINT) project. Read more about our fantastic sponsor here! Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are our own.
Check out this Let’s Go Slow video interview with Jonna about how she became “Husky Mamma”
Meet Jonna - or as she likes to be known, Husky Mamma!
Jonna’s background story to becoming Husky Mamma is an inspiring one. With no background to keeping or working with dogs, she committed to moving away from a modern office job and take to the nature instead, opting for a life with animals.
When the opportunity to buy a husky farm appeared, Jonna and her husband Janne were resistant at first, but fell in love once they visited it. After a very hard first year, learning and looking after abused dogs, things have been much easier and now very enjoyable and rewarding.
Staying with Husky Mamma
The Husky Farm’s high season is in winter from running husky sledge tours for tourists seeking the Finnish wilderness. In summer & autumn they offer custom tours, and because most of the seasonal workers don’t stay on the farm in low season, we were offered to stay the night, so we could help Jonna and Janne feed the huskies breakfast in the morning.
Finnish home hospitality
When we arrived Husky Mamma had made a wonderful reindeer stew, and we met her husband Janne, who likes to fish. They're actually both keen fly fishers and have travelled a lot to fly fish, including around Mark's native Scotland. We all had plenty to talk about, and had a nice conversion about the rewards of leaving the city life to fulfil a passion.
We stayed the night with them at their staff quarters. It was very comfortable with a bed (most of our slow adventures in Finland has been outdoors, sleeping on mats in the forest)!
Happy morning, happy breakfast
We got up early to have breakfast, and then off to feed the dogs - a really heart warming way to interact with them and have an involvement in life at a husky farm. The noise coming from the dogs waiting for their breakfast was unbelievable. The noise grew as we started getting ready.
As we got buckets of prepared dog food, the dogs were super excited; jumping up and down while some of them actually climbed the high cages and howled into the cold autumn air. We did not know huskies could climb, but they sure can! And the most impressive thing is that none of them climbed over the fence, they only wanted to see if they were next in line for food.
Dogs & Nature
In the afternoon we took their first dog - a black labrador - for a walk with a waist harness. Husky Mamma explained all about the surrounding area and how she slowly became “one” with this place. She told us local stories about the trees and landscape, and she mentioned how devastating the clear cut forest areas were for a local moose that always calved twins each year. The moose has never returned since, however the clearings are beautiful in winter.
A slow walk filled with conversation about slow adventure
Jonna spoke a lot of the cold fresh air, the sound of nothing and how much healing people get from being here in winter - an escape from the modern life that lets you focus on the doing of things - this for her is at the centre of slow adventure; to be focused on the doing of something.
Leaving Husky Mamma for Syöte National Park
We'd love to visit the farm again, especially in winter - or summer with a fishing rod!
The next day Jonna took us into Iso-Syöte where there was a festival and we'd stay our last night at the ski resort hotel. She brought us to a mushroom exhibition - a collection of the different species they had foraged this year.
Making your own slow adventure in Syöte National Park
On our very last night in Finland we stayed at the Iso-Syöte ski resort. A lovely hotel with hiking and skiing routes right outside the door.
We only had one afternoon in Syöte, but felt tired and lazy. So we decided to do a short hike in the surrounding hill. Using the well marked paths, we walked a few kilometres into the highlands and were repaid with beautiful views.
Dinner at the hotel
After our hike we celebrated our trip to Finland with an amazing dinner at Iso-Syöte hotel, and a lovely Finnish gin with cranberries and a twig of rosemary!
Slow adventures in Finland
Have a look at the links below if you're planning a slow adventure In the Kussamo/Oulu area.
Go on an amazing husky ride, check out their large sauna or just pop in to have a chat with Husky Mamma and her husband Janne at Syötteen Eräpalvelut, Syöte Wilderness Services.
For a lovely hotel stay or delicious dinner, book a room or table at at Iso-Syote Hotel.
For information about the National Park go to the Syöte Visitor Centre. They also have a really cool exhibition on local history and culture.
Lastly, if you'd like to read more from Finland check out more blog posts on our slow adventure map!