15-Sep-2002 -- Visiting the confluence offered us again fine excuse for getting to know places and areas where we probably would never normally go.
We spent this Sunday making an expedition to Isojoki. One reason for that was the interesting terrain there. Vast areas there were some kind of swamp and the 62N 22E confluence seemed to be in the middle of the marshland. By the map the confluence was situated about five kilometers away from nearest settlements and a narrow dirt road should go from NE direction close to it.
We found the road and the signs there indicated that the route was used during winter time as a snowmobile track. After driving about 6 km through uninhabited waste land the road changed to a path and it was no more drivable. We (Ilkka his Welsh terrier Terra and I) left the car about 700 m away from the confluence and started to walk along the path toward it. Soon we had to take our shoes off and wade across a small river. It turned out that the path led to dilapidated barn which was used as a shed of firewood and the confluence was about 70 meters behind the shed. We also noticed that there was on the ground less than 50 meters away from confluence a white plastic cross made by surveyors which indicates the boundary mark for aerial photographing. As far as I know that mark has nothing to do with lat/lon lines.
The confluence appeared to be in the forest that differed from all other types of forests that we saw in the area. The terrain in that spruce growing forest was firm and not so wet. The atmosphere there in that forest of spruce was awesome: dim lightning, the ground and fallen trees were covered by thick green moss that nicely softened all the shapes. It was just like a forest of fairytales. You could almost see dwarfs walking between moss along those tiny paths made by ants.
Map indicated that about 1,5 km SW from confluence there was the lake Haapajärvi and after taking the confluence pictures we decided to walk to the lake. We did not manage to find the lake because wandering in that terrain was so slow and we had not time enough to get there, but instead we found every kind of wet land. Swamp, marsh, peat bog, slough, wet meadow, everglade, moor, you name it, it was there. There was elk flies too that intrude in our hair and under our clothes. Anyhow the views there where great and so was the weather. Also there was delicious lingonberries and cranberries to eat. After getting back to the car we cooked and ate a quick dinner because we were not yet ready to leave this neighbourhood.
The other reason for us to visit parish Isojoki is concerning the matter that is not so delightful. For average finish people the only thing the place Isojoki is known for is the Kyllikki Saari case. Kyllikki Saari was young woman, who lived at Isojoki and disappeared almost fifty years ago, on 17 of May 1953. Her body was found in the forest outside the village half year later buried in marsh. This mystery is one of the most famous in the grime history of Finland and even more people took part to her burial than to Olympic opening ceremony at Helsinki stadium year before. This case is still unsolved and it has inspired writers and artists every since. There is a huge amount of articles and stories and even a film that are dealing with the case.
After eating the dinner we drove to Isojoki to see how this mythic village would look like. It turned out to be an ordinary finnish country village. Usual shops and services. In the middle of the village there was a beautiful church and the graveyard where Kyllikki Saari is buried. Ilkka knew that at the Isojoki there should also be an unofficial monument of the poor maiden. After driving some kilometers from the village we saw by the road the sign "Kyllikki Saaren suohauta" which means: the marsh grave of Kyllikki Saari. It was twilight time when we left the car and walked along the path some hundred meters away from the road to forest. Inside the forest by the marsh there was a stone with some flowers around it and a plate. The text in that plate told that the place where the stone is set up is the place where the body of Kyllikki Saari was found 11.10. 1953. The atmosphere of this forest was creepy.
It was nice to get back in the car and start the way back home when the night was darkening at Isojoki.