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AIH124 DXpedition Report

Our annual fall DXpedition turned out to be rewarding in many respects. We had built one more monster antenna, opening up new countries such as Nigeria, Algeria and the Netherlands for serious AM DXing. Using the other 13 antennas, we had short but very productive openings to Australia, Thailand, Brazil, and the Midwest in the United States. Also, the Aihkiniemi base in Lapland now has a second building, so staying there was more comfortable than before.

DXing is the perfect pandemic pastime – you can stay at home and still hear the world spinning. And a DXpedition is the ideal form of travel during a pandemic. Once we exited the last outposts of civilization in Lapland, it was just us and the Arctic wilderness. The nearest neighbors were kilometers away, so social distancing was more than adequate.

Finnair's plane at Ivalo Airport
My first pandemic flight is over — and soon there were two more. You can CLICK on the photos in this report to see larger images.

Logistics for our traditional fall DXpedition with Jim Solatie were a bit unusual. Jim and his wife Pia traveled up north already a week earlier to DX and hike in Lemmenjoki. It didn't make much sense for me to take a second car north a week later, so I opted to fly to Ivalo. It was actually a very convenient arrangement, as Pia returned south on the same plane on its return leg.

The timing of DXpedition AIH124 was almost the same as last year on AIH106, but the world was very different. This was my first flight during the pandemic, and on Saturday morning the Helsinki Airport seemed eerily quiet. A list of departures showed only 31 flights for the entire day. Passenger numbers were down 90 % compared to the same time last year. Finnair's flight to Ivalo was half full, and everyone wore masks. After arriving in Ivalo, I briefly saw Pia as she was going through the security, and Jim was waiting in the terminal with their dog Mocca.

Welcome to Ivalo!
Normally there would be loads of tourists from China, Japan and Korea in Ivalo, but not this winter.

The change of scenery was quite dramatic, as Lapland was already covered in snow, and more was falling by the hour. First we headed to Inari for a steak lunch at the town's only gas station, and then shopped for groceries at a recently upgraded supermarket – where Coke Zero costs 2.5 times as much as in the capital region. Well, the times are tough, so I guess we need to contribute to the ailing tourism industry up in Lapland.

The previous Aihkiniemi crew, Lauri Niemi and Jyrki Hytönen, had departed already in the morning, so we didn't get to meet them in person. We arrived in Aihkiniemi to kick off DXpedition AIH124 at 15:00 local time, as snowfall was turning into drizzle. We were in no hurry to set up our gear as propagation conditions were pretty dismal. Asian stations peaked before sunset, but I had multiple technical issues, so I don't have much of an idea what exactly was available. Apparently, there were no clearly focused openings which would have allowed us to catch anything new.

At the same time, fellow DXers Hannu Tikkanen and Håkan Sundman arrived for a week of DXing in Lemmenjoki, about 100 kilometers away. It turned out that we noticed roughly the same openings, and probably got many of the same stations as well.

Reindeer crossing the road
The king of the road in Lapland is reindeer.

During the week before, Jim had heard for instance a Travelers Information Station (TIS) from New Jersey on 1710 AM. The station, WQFG689 Hudson County TIS from Secaucus, was my number one target, but at least after a perfunctory review of most of my recordings, it was nowhere to be found.

The geomagnetic field was unsettled during the first week of AIH124, but we had ample time to recover from it. Our DXpedition lasted a total of three weeks, so in the beginning I wasn't too worried about the impact of the unstable geomagnetic conditions.

The first week in Aihkiniemi resulted in three short but gainful openings:

  • On Wednesday, October 28, in the afternoon for about 45 minutes stations from Australia, mostly Queensland, were heard on many frequencies, which is rare. The biggest surprise was 4BU Bundaberg booming strong and stable on 1332 AM, but Jim's fabulous catch of 8JB ABC Jabiru from Northern Territories on 747 AM was an even more impressive catch, as it operates with only 0.2 kW of power!
  • On Thursday, October 29, at sunrise there was a very short, roughly 15-minute opening to southern Brazil. Stations were heard exclusively in the very top end of the dial, on about 1400–1600 kHz, and mostly just from São Paulo state. As daylight had already diluted European interference, it was magical to log several 250-watt stations. Curiously, the reception of these stations was best using antennas pointing to East Coast North America (291 and 304 degrees), although there was nothing wrong with our antennas pointing to Brazil, so something very weird happened with the propagation paths this morning. We identified for example ZYK733 Rádio Nova, São Manuel SP on 1410 AM, ZYK657 Rádio São Carlos, São Carlos do Pinhal SP on 1450 AM, ZYK764 Rádio Imaculada Conceição, Mauá SP on 1490 AM, ZYL280 Rádio Clube, Pouso Alegre MG on 1530 AM and ZYK667 Rádio Socorro, Socorro SP on 1570 AM, all of which were new catches to both of us.
  • From late Saturday evening, October 31, North American signals arrived early, and many Midwest stations were heard on daytime power. The timing was fortunate, as this was the last night when stations were still operating under the October timelines, allowing for relatively late sign-off times. The most productive period was from 2300 to midnight UTC, when KTIC 840 AM, WLBL 930 AM, KSOO 1000 AM and KFIL 1060 AM were identified, all personally new catches.
The new cabin from the outside
On the left is the original Aihkiniemi cabin, and on the right is our new addition.

The full AIH124 DXpedition log will be published once all the recordings have been checked. It is bound to take years, even though we only log rarities of personal interest, and not the couple of thousand most common AM catches.

The entire three-week period was not fulltime DXing. After the first week I needed to return south for work to cover the U.S. elections. I flew to Helsinki on November 1, and back up north again on November 7, by which time the result was pretty clear to just about everyone else but President Donald Trump himself.

During my time away many of the recordings were pre-programmed, as Jim also spent time traveling in Norway. I still have a very vague idea of propagation conditions at the time, as I haven't listened to a single recording from the election week. In any case, at least there was a very good opening to Thailand on November 1, just as Jim was driving me to the Ivalo Airport.

A mountain in Norway as seen from the top of Ailigas
The top of Ailigas offers great views across the border to Norway.

For the third week I was again present, at least physically, but maybe less so mentally. I was working remotely while trying not to miss any fabulous DX, so I have even more unchecked SDR recordings than normally to be reviewed later.

Our equipment has remained the same for a decade. We both used only Perseus receivers, Jim with Perseus software and I with Jaguar software. We shared an array of 14 Beverage-type antennas, each about one kilometer (3,000 feet) in length. In June I made a trip to Aihkiniemi with Jim to build two new antennas pointing at 214 degrees and 94 degrees (which replaced an earlier 100-degree antenna). These are the current antenna directions in Aihkiniemi (click to enlarge):

Antenna directions in Aihkiniemi

For the first time, our antenna pointing at 214 degrees was made permanent, although a similar antenna was tested temporarily years ago. This antenna was very productive for catching stations in Nigeria, Algeria, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, which has become an interesting DX target with an increasing number of low-power legal hobby stations on the AM band. Aihkiniemi is located over 2,000 kilometers away from these stations, so for many of them, reaching a listener in Aihkiniemi has marked a record distance.

An unfortunate setback was losing four 4TB external hard drives, which I had just obtained second-hand, and which I haven't been able to revive. The underlying reason for the drives dying isn't clear, as exotic error messages by Windows were their last signs of life. Maybe my ancient laptop was no longer able to execute saving all the information that Jaguar software wanted to save on a hard drive, as Jaguar has added more features. Or, maybe the hard drives had some pre-existing issues. I ended up ditching the laptop and getting a new one delivered up to Aihkiniemi by the end of the first week. The lost recordings hardly contained any irreplaceable rarities, but losing the pricey hard drives was a bit annoying.

The new building from the inside
A new fridge, a sauna, and to the right would be the kitchenette and the dining area.

On a positive note, the Aihkiniemi premises had received a major upgrade after our previous DXpedition AIH106. In September we added a second building, which houses a sauna, a kitchenette, and room for a dining table, as well as one more bed.

This major improvement has taken place thanks to project manager Martti Karimies, who is a construction professional. Martti found a suitable mobile shack used earlier as an office at construction sites. He designed the needed modifications, and did most of the work himself, with help from the rest of the 7-member Aihkiniemi crew. The stove of the sauna was unfortunately broken and wasn't fixed until late November.

Jim and his dog slept in the new building, and I occupied the old bedroom. There's still no running water, but now we have a new well equipped with a pump, so we have an endless supply of crystal clear water for drinking and washing up. A warm shower was a fabulous improvement from our earlier DXpeditions, and now we are no longer dependent on any outside services.

A river flowing freely
Small lakes had a thin ice cover, but even small streams were still unfrozen.

Would you like to see our new premises for yourself? Check out this video on YouTube, where I'll give you a guided tour of the Aihkiniemi DXing base.

Our nearby lake was frozen, but the ice wasn't sturdy enough to cross over to the other side, so checking the antennas required a bit longer walk. A couple of nights of clear skies allowed us to admire modest aurora. Most of the time the temperatures hovered around freezing point, reaching -15 C (5 F) at the lowest. During the first few days we got a lot of snow, and shoveled the driveway a couple of times, but by our departure time most of the snow had melted.

Here's a daily summary of propagation conditions during AIH124:

Sunday, October 25, 2020

On this night Finland moved back from daylight to standard time. Propagation was rather poor overnight, but stations from Brazil to the Caribbean were heard before sunrise. Practically all signals vanished soon after 0600 UTC. Jim identified at least one new Peruvian station for himself.

Aurora borealis
Northern lights would probably have been visible on most nights, but most of the time we had overcast skies.

During the day we checked the first antennas in a very wet forest, with temperatures slightly above freezing point. I was taken aback when I heard a rifle shot really near while in the forest. Apparently it was a local hunter, although I didn't see anybody.

Jim was in another direction a couple of kilometers away, and there was shooting by local hunters also close to him. This fall there had already been two deadly hunting accidents in Finland, and we didn't particularly want to contribute to these statistics. In one case in Lapland, a hunter apparently shot a mountain biker thinking he was a bird... geez!

The first of my second-hand hard drives broke down, and I lost most of my recordings from the first 24 hours. By the time things were back in control, there was a nice but short peak toward the Pacific Northwest (including stations such as KRTA 610, KVLV 980, KAGO 1150, KSUE 1240, KAJO & KBZZ 1270, and KCMY 1300 AM).

Aurora borealis above Aihkiniemi
Typically when the aurora borealis is weak it forms an arch over the northern sky.

At the same time, signals from Southeast Asia were quite forceful for a while. We logged two personally new Chinese stations from Shanxi Province, and a bit later propagation seemed pretty good to Vietnam and Thailand, but at least initially no new discoveries were made. The evening was quite boring with just a few common stations from Australia.

Late Sunday evening Ethiopian stations were very strong, and Jim got a new one on 1485 kHz. I stayed put on 945 kHz, and finally nailed São Tome at 2300 UTC, even though there was something wrong with our 214-degree antenna. The directionality worked, but signal levels were poor.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Overnight offered a couple of scattered openings to both North and South America, perhaps Argentina being most stable around 0100–0200 UTC. Some neat stations were heard from the U.S. Midwest (such as KDUZ Hutchinson MN on 1260 AM), but trans-Atlantic propagation died well before daybreak.

Listening room in Aihkiniemi
The listening room in Aihkiniemi.

During daylight hours the AM band was quiet, so we had ample time to check antennas and shovel snow from the driveway. After physical labor, it was a real treat to be able to take a warm shower in our own cabin.

Stations from Asia began to emerge around 1300 UTC, but without any particular directional focus. Later in the evening there were hardly any stations from the east anymore, but we got the 214-degree wire fixed, so at least we logged a new Italian station on 1584 kHz.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Overnight there were some North American and South American stations, strongest around 0300 UTC, but so far nothing of interest. In the morning the signals just fizzled out around sunrise. Jim caught Radiofonikos Stathmos Amaliadas from Greece on 1584 AM – not a new catch, but still nice to hear it.

Mika listening
Mika's listening post in Aihkiniemi.

A bunch of the most common stations from the Pacific Northwest were noted weak after 1230 UTC, and stations from Southeast Asia began to occupy frequencies around the same time. Strangely stations were present almost exclusively on the lower half of the AM band, while higher frequencies remained void of any stations for a much longer time. Tonga made a brief appearance on 1017 AM at 1205 UTC, the first station logged from the Pacific. There was a also a bit of Hawaii and Alaska heard around 1300–1400 UTC.

No gunshots in the forest on this day, although I noticed fresh footprints in the wilderness while checking antennas. Human footprints, I should add, because reindeer hoofprints are ubiquitous.

On Tuesday evening a couple of stations from Maine appeared around 2130 UTC, which was the earliest East Coast opening on this DXpedition, but soon they faded back into the noise. Automated recordings took care of the rest of the night.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

During the night some North American stations were heard, but nothing personally new, at least not so far. Signals seemed to peak around 0500 UTC, with stations like KWNW 1100, KPUG 1170, KPOW 1260, and KCYK 1400 AM identified.

Jim listening
Jim is hunting for new Australian stations.

Daybreak broke reception as well. In daylight we drove down to Inari for lunch at the Neste service station, and shopped for more groceries. It had been raining overnight, so the snow was vanishing fast and the roads were a bit slippery.

The afternoon turned out to be a pleasant surprise to the extent that I had to cut short a work-related Google Meet session. Yes, I was on vacation this week, but occasionally duty called as the U.S. elections were fast approaching.

What happened is that stations from Queensland, Australia, were among the first stations heard from the Eastern Hemisphere at around 1330 UTC. A couple of the most common Kiwis were heard just before them, a first opening to that direction this week.

Later in the evening Jim logged Radio Studio X from Italy on 1485 kHz, a previously unknown (to us, anyway) frequency. There was a peak even to Nigeria, and Jim heard Radio Benue on 918 kHz with the closing ID at the surprisingly early time of 1959 UTC, followed by the national anthem. Something for me to hunt during the upcoming days.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Nighttime was once again miserable with hardly anything from anywhere. Daybreak saw a rise in North American signals from Minnesota to Texas, but they peaked at 0530 UTC, and were practically gone by 0600 UTC. Officially the sunrise was now at 08:18 local time (0618 UTC). Identified graveyard stations included WTAX 1240 and KATE 1450 AM.

The sun still rises above the horizon
The midday sun can still be seen above the horizon. A month later the sun would remain below the horizon 24/7 on this latitude.

Weirdly enough though, there was a rise of Brazilian stations from around São Paulo before 0600 UTC on the upper end of the AM dial, as detailed before. There were very few signals under 1400 kHz, but the top end had some really nice surprises, so we both got several stations we had never heard before.

On Thursday we had an electrician come by to try to fix the stove in the sauna. For lack of spare parts he however needed to return later.

In the afternoon, stations in the Pacific Northwest didn't show up as expected, but the regular flow of stations from Asia began around 1300 UTC, and became quite strong by 1400 UTC. I haven't done any checking yet in terms of what was available, but even a brief look at the scan of the X-band shows that Australia was much weaker than on the day before.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Propagation conditions continued to be poor. A bunch of common North American stations were heard overnight (such as KTRF 1230 and KROX 1260 AM from Minnesota), and a few Latin American stations as well, but nothing to get excited about.

Ailikas
Yle's transmitter on top of Ailigas can be seen from far away.

Since the weather was forecast to be quite nice for a change, we did some sightseeing during the daytime. Fell Ailigas (a Sámi name, while the same mountain is officially spelled as Ailikas in Finnish) in Karigasniemi near the Norwegian border rises to 620 meters above sea level, and is a fabulous hiking destination this time of the year. There was about 10–30 cm of snow on the ground, so walking off the trail was not overly difficult. A six-kilometer hike from the trailhead, accessible by Jim's 4WD Honda, was just the perfect outdoor activity for this beautiful day. The ascent from the parking place was about 340 meters.

When at the top, the weather however turned overcast and very windy, and it started snowing. In any case, we got to enjoy the sunny landscape on our way up, and I got to fly a drone despite the strong winds. Almost exactly eight years earlier we hiked on the same fell, and in the AIH18 DXpedition Report you can find photos from back then. The Mountains haven't changed, and hopefully we haven't aged too much either.

Frozen plants on Ailigas
A closeup of frozen plants on Ailigas.

We grabbed salmon pizzas to go in Karigasniemi and headed back to Aihkiniemi, a 1.5-hour drive each way. We had left recordings running throughout the day, but the fleeting openings from North America didn't bring anything new. As is typical, in the afternoon the focus was on the Pacific Northwest, with stations like KWIZ 1230, KEDO 1400, KYKN 1430, and KDBM 1490 AM identified.

From the east we spotted a bunch of stations from New Zealand around 1200–1300 UTC on 657, 918, 1026, 1035, and 1080 kHz. This was more than on any previous day on AIH124, but not enough to warrant a closer inspection of the recordings. Later in the afternoon Chinese stations dominated the dial. And finally in the evening, I identified Radio Benue on 918 kHz. Not a rarity, but our new 214-degree wire gives quite a boost to signals from this direction.

The Finnish postal service exceeded my expectations, and I got my new laptop delivered to our remote location on Friday afternoon just as we were returning to Aihkiniemi.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

AIH124 continued along the same lines as before. Overnight was generally poor to all directions, except that the first opening to Brazil around 2130 UTC turned out to be surprisingly productive in terms of new stations.

An aerial shot from a drone from on top of Ailigas
An aerial from the top of Ailigas, shot with a drone, with frost-bitten fingers.

In the morning stations from all around the Americas were stronger than yesterday, Signals peaked at 0600 UTC with stations from the Midwest (KGFX 1060, KWSN 1230, KICD 1240, KYCR 1440 AM, just to mention some common ones), and the Andes & Colombia. Signal levels crashed rapidly, and by 0630 UTC the AM band was virtually empty. My best catch of the morning was OCU1Z Radio Visión from Tumbes on 1090 AM, which hasn't been heard in Finland before.

During the day stations from northwestern USA made a few attempts to break through, but generally signals were very weak, and there was nothing to listen to.

To get some useful chores done, we checked the last remaining antennas and emptied the dry toilet. Temperatures dipped down to around -12 C.

From the east, Newstalk ZB was heard on 1035 kHz at 1300 UTC, followed soon by loads of strong signals from China. Already by 1430 UTC propagation was focused on Iran, so the Asia opening turned out to be very short-lived. Identified stations included DYOW 900, DYRL 1035 and Gansu 1134 AM.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

The turn of the month marked the best DXing of the AIH124 DXpedition so far. North American signals began entering our cabin around 2100 UTC, and continued non-stop until around 0730 UTC. KXEL from Iowa on 1540 AM was audible already at 2118 UTC, an hour and 45 minutes before sunset in Waterloo.

Screenshot of Jaguar software on 840 AM
This screenshot from Jaguar software shows what 840 AM looked like around midnight UTC. KTIC's signal is clearly visible until it closed down at 2345 UTC. Knowing the exact offsets (in this case 839.996 kHz) helps in tracking stations down. WHAS is on the right at 830.003 kHz, and CFCW in the middle at 829.999 kHz. The sensitivity is adjustable, and in this case the signals were audible only when they turned orange.

We heard a few daytime-only stations and several others with daytime power, especially from the Midwest: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska. Latin American signals were simply swamped by the more northern stations. The timing could not have been better, and without this opening the entire end of October would have been wasted as far as daytimer-hunting goes. Here are a few examples from this morning. I picked four semi-rare U.S. stations on 1410 AM as an example of what we heard. Click to open an MP3 file of the station ID:

All these goodies were heard within 1.5 hours. Pretty cool, isn't it? And on the next frequency down the dial, on 1400 AM, I identified the following stations over a 9-hour period on this one night: WWWS, WMAN, WGIL, KMHL, WGIL, KEYL, KCOW, and KBRB. None were new to me, but it was still nice to get many W-calls.

But here's the important part: Aihkiniemi is not some privileged hideaway for the chosen few. You could be listening to the same stations. Just book your next DXpedition in Aihkiniemi. Once coronavirus vaccinations get well underway, travel restrictions for non-EU nationals will likely be lifted.

During the day there was a lull in reception, indicating that the magnetic field was still not entirely settled. The Pacific Northwest made a comeback starting around 1130 UTC, and continued past 1300 UTC, when I had to quit live DXing and start heading to the Ivalo Airport for a return trip to Helsinki. At that point there were just faint signals from the east. Jim kindly drove me all the way to the airport, and returned to Aihkiniemi after some grocery shopping. While we both were away, there was apparently a very good opening to Thailand.

AIH124 tag on top of Ailigas
Spreading the gospel on top of Ailigas.

Monday–Friday, November 2–6, 2020

While I was reporting on the U.S. elections, Jim handled the recordings and visited Norway as well, as the border was finally opened. Based on Jim's observations, Monday and Tuesday offered some Pacific Northwest stations in the afternoon.

Wednesday was more interesting, because the familiar daybreak opening to the west included U.S. East Coast stations. A similar good opening further west occurred on Thursday morning. Reception of North American signals was decent overnight Friday.

Hopefully a closer inspection of the recordings will reveal some new stations to send reception reports to.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Having returned to Aihkiniemi for more live DXing, on Saturday evening I focused on Dutch stations, which seemed to be stronger than normally. Stations like Album AM 846, Citrus AM 918, Radio T-Pot 918 AM and Radio 0511 on 1287 AM were already very familiar to Jim who had pioneered catching these low-power stations at his summer cottage on the south coast of Finland, but for me this was an entirely virgin front.


Aurora borealis at the frozen lake next to our cabin.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

A mixed bag of stations from all around, but KIFG Iowa Falls IA on 1510 AM was a pleasant surprise for both of us. In the afternoon, some Thai stations were audible remarkably early, already around 1200 UTC, and even ABC from Western Australia on 1152 AM was logged as early as 1300 UTC.

Monday, November 9, 2020

My observations from this third week are succinct, because I was trying to focus on work. In the morning the 0700 UTC top-of-the-hour was rewarding with many stations from the southern part of the U.S.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

When hunting for Nigerian stations in the morning, I was happy to score a couple of new ones from Algeria instead. During the day my only new catch was KDIZ Golden Valley MN on 1570 AM. In the evening I spent a couple of hours listening to Amica Radio Veneta on 1017 AM, without hearing a single ID, but that was fixed a couple of days later.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

In the morning, HCBD1 Radio Monumental from Quito on 1510.2716 kHz was my only personally new catch on the fly. The strong deviation from its nominal frequency makes it tough to miss if there's any chance of getting it. Otherwise lots of U.S. and East Asia, but at least so far no new ones. In the evening U.S. stations were up early, and I finally managed to identify WHIT Madison WI on 1549.9965 kHz, which is definitely not a rarity, but its ID had eluded me until now.

Balun box for the 214-degree antenna
Our new 214-degree wire is the only antenna which begins from very close to the cabin.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Again some Algeria in the morning, and even some Andes (such as Radio Huancavilca on 830 AM) for a change. Asian stations were up early, including an ID for Heilongjiang Xinwen Guangbo on 1287 AM at 1000 UTC. This was presumably a retransmission over Daxing'anling Xinwen Zonghe Pinlu, a previously unheard station from the very northern tip of China. In the evening 6IX from Perth WA was a neat surprise on 1080 AM. Recordings from this day have potential to yield many more new stations.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Finally North American stations were beginning to be heard around the clock as they should, us being still so close to solar minimum. There were nice signals from California until the afternoon, with KPWK San Bernardino CA on 1350 AM being my only new station so far. Also a couple of Kiwi stations were heard, and Fijian Gold FM was loud on 990 AM at 1300 UTC. I expect to find some goodies also on Friday's recordings.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

As all too often seems to be the case, propagation feels best when you have to leave. So it was on this Saturday morning. North American signals were strong through the night, and East Coast stations were noted booming as we had to disconnect our last receivers after 0700 UTC. In any case, I'm already very pleased with having finally identified Radio Curom (which identifies as "Z-86 Emisora") on 860 AM from Curaçao earlier in the morning. This station had stayed on my most-wanted list for a couple of decades before I finally caught an ID in hi-fi quality. I left one Perseus to record until the next pair of DXers, Ismo Kauppi and Timo Metso, arrived in the afternoon. Timo kindly brought my hard drive south, and I'm looking forward to checking what it contains.

The night sky
Remember, on a clear night you can hear forever.

We couldn't get tickets to the overnight train leaving from Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle later in the evening, so we needed to catch an earlier overnight train departing from Kolari close to the Swedish border. Therefore we also had to leave Aihkiniemi a bit after 10 a.m., more than three hours earlier than normally. There were lots of reindeer on the road, and the roads were slippery, but we made it safely to Kolari.

We grabbed a burger along the way in Levi, where snow remained only on the slopes of the Levi Mountain. I was wondering if the local Burger King down at the ski resort would be the northernmost such restaurant, but it turned out there's one franchise even further up, in Tromsø, Norway.

In Kolari, it became evident that we're back in the real world where we again need to take the coronavirus into account and start using masks when around crowds of people. The restaurant at the Kolari railway station was closed because of the pandemic, and we didn't feel like hanging around in the restaurant car of the train. Not a problem though, as we had our own snacks and drinks, and a cabin to ourselves, including DX-dog Mocca.

All good things come to an end, even DXpedition AIH124, but we'll be back, next fall at the latest!

Mika Mäkeläinen

Published on December 1, 2020

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Mika's DXpeditions:
  AIH133 (log)
  AIH124
  AIH106
  AIH103
  AIH98
  AIH88
  AIH85
  AIH76
  AIH72 (log)
  AIH39
  AIH29
  AIH18
  AIH17
  AIH10 (log)
  AIH7 (log)
  AIH3 (log)
  LEM295 (log)
  LEM291 (log)
  LEM287 (log)
  LEM278 (log)
  LEM271 (log)
  LEM239 (log)
  LEM220 (log)
  LEM214 (log)
  LEM206 (log)
  LEM202 (log)
  LEM169 (log)
  LEM158 (log)
  LEM144 (log)
  LEM132 (log)
  LEM121 (log)
  LEM112 (log)
  LEM104 (log)
  LEM96 (log)
  LEM83 (log)
  LEM54 (log)
  LÅ164 (log)
  KAMU9 (log)

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