Celebrations at Drevsjø

Author: Fredrik Ljone Holst (transl. Femke van Gastel     Photo: Fredrik Ljone Holst     Publish date: 02.02.13 08:24

When you arrive at checkpoint Drevsjø, it is not hard to understand that the Femundløpet is an opportunity to let loose. Here the party and liveliness continue during the whole evening and night.

Already at 19.00 the stalls and mealserving opened at the skistadium in Drevsjø. Local producers stood up and showed themselves. The same is done by the schoolband and one or multiple entertainers. This year the band Michigan was responsible for warming up the public before the nights headattraction: the dogteams that have run 150 kilometer when they arrive at the races' post in the south-east.

An avid speaker keeps the public updated with both musical and sportly news. With many posts along the trail, they have a pretty good feel over when mushers are getting closer, and over who it is that is coming, even when that is not always easy to see when the darkness has fallen over the forest.

This year was the second in a row that the trail at Drevsjø was lighted during the whole night, up until the first musher got closer when the lights would be turned off in the last instand. Without electricity also the pump at the targetline stopped working, which caused it to slope, but while everybody was tearing up, there was still enough place under the arc for Arnt Ola Skjerve to pass. Of course he carried a light with him himself, so both the public and everybody that had a job to do at the checkpoint could follow him on the last part into the stadium.

Even after the schoolband and the band Michigan had given up for the night, both cafe staff and multiple stalls were still open one, two and even three hours after midnight. One of the local producers snuck out with a little price for Arnt Ola. As the first to arrive at Drevsjø, he got a sitting blanket and a pair of underpants -  with sleddogs on the front and back.
-Here are the dogs going in one side and dogs coming out on the other side, she said with a smile and crossed her fingers that the size was right.
-It should be the right size, she decided without having checked with the boss himself.
So when someone sees Arnt Ola after he has reached the finishline and had a shower and hopefully changed his underwear, maybe they can ask if it fits.