Carthago Club of Finland - Greetings from Ramsanoja

Our own gold panning site Far north in Lapland

Our club's Turning leaves - autumn colors get-together (Ruskatreffi) took place in September, as usual, in our own area near Saariselkä, Finnish Lapland. We have been hosting the Carthago Club of Finland gold panning events in our area since 2009.

The acquisition of our own area started in 2007 with a gold panning meeting in Sotajoki, in the area of Hannu Kekäläinen, then a Carthago and Hymer dealer. Lars Dahlberg, our current Honorary President, and his henchmen came up with the idea of an area all his own. And so, in 2008, with the help of Olav the gold digger, known as Nopsajalka, we set out to find our own place, our own gold claim area. The site was found and a lease agreement was signed with the authorities called Forestry Agency. The Forestry Agency inspector Peurajärvi was there to inspect the site and with the precise restrictions to protect the nature "nothing touched, no branches cut, no road moved", the first 10-year lease agreement for a gold claim was signed, where machine digging is not allowed, only the shovel is used. Thus, a "Colden Camp" was established within our club.
The Carthago Gold Camp gold panning area is located in Ramsanooja, Inari, south of the Kutturantie road, near the junction of the Tolos River and Ramsanoja, on state land managed by Metsähallitus. The area is 5.0 hectares in size, so there is space for both cars in the forest and for gold panning on the riverbank.

In the gold panning area, or claim, we have the exclusive right to prospect for and map gold in the ground, to recover and exploit gold in the ground by panning and shovel digging, and to recover platinum peaks and precious and semi-precious stones found in the loose soil as a by-product of panning. The excavation pits should be well marked or covered during the winter to prevent reindeer and/or other trespassers from falling into the pits. The area must be maintained in such a condition that it meets safety requirements at all times and does not have a negative impact on the environment. No buildings, structures, equipment or other goods not related to gold panning operations may be kept on the site. Access to and maintenance of the gold panning area shall take place along existing road accesses and tracks and, where necessary, on the basis of off-road permits.

In keeping with these guidelines, our claim will have a strong natural feel and our vehicles will be located in natural areas within the tree canopy. We do not have any pre-designed sites or electricity in our area. Only the peace of nature and the sounds of birds, which are sometimes disturbed by the noise of the aggregates. Fortunately, our car, the Carthago, is equipped to survive in the wild, several of which already have solar panels and decent battery capacity.

Since the beginning, the club has set up its own hut on the site, as a common space for meals and dinners. When it was completed, our current one was the largest in Finland. The builder had wondered how it would stand up if a storm came, but the clever men in the club solved that too. The central beam in the tent was made with the idea of musician Tuomo Ylitalo, using the material from the light trusses!                                                                                                  The erection of the tent is the first effort of the autumn meeting, which is done as a group. All in all, the collective work at Ramsanoja is visible and exudes strength. The tent is a place where we can enjoy a daily cup of coffee with sandwiches, eat the food we have ordered or sit together in the evening singing. What was there to sing about in the evenings, when our singing is directed by the hit singer herself, Tarja Ylitalo and Raili Leppälä, and accompanied by Tuomo Ylitalo on the accordion!

And our own tented sauna, it's hard to find a winner for that heat. In the middle of nature, in the wilderness, the Finnish Carthago Club's tented sauna rises year after year, guaranteeing soft suds and, through it, clean gold-diggers. Our sauna lover Henri is worth his weight in gold, because where in a tent sauna you can find a shower that always comes with warm water to suit everyone. And what about those sauna stories, they warm you up and make you laugh in the baths and when you're chilling afterwards. I can't tell you about the atmosphere, you must experience it for yourself!

This year we also had two real gold diggers as our guests, who talked about gold panning and gave us instructions and tips. Our members listened and learned, maybe next summer we'll find more than just tiny bits. Great nuggets they had themselves and we got to admire them too. Next year maybe we should visit their claim with our group.

This year some of us also made an excursion to the Hymer club autumn days, to the Kekäläinen claim at Sotajoki, by bike and moped. It was a long trip but we had a nice time pedalling in good company. The "homeward journey" was made with coffee and pancakes in mind. The landscapes and terrain are excellent for cycling around Saariselkä, I warmly recommend you to explore.

Autumn kept us a bit on the edge of our seats, with temperatures hovering near summer temperatures and the leaves on the trees turning green in a summery way. The years are so different, and this gives us first timers a good reason to come back in a year's time to see what nature looks like then! Luckily, one night we saw a few northern lights in the sky.

This year we didn't find many lingonberries and they were still a bit raw. We collected mushrooms, tatties, cantharelles, there were more in the wild than we could collect as a group. Several Carthago freezers were filled with mushrooms and jars of mushrooms filled the fridges on the way home.

A wonderful week, in good company, in beautiful surroundings.


Best Regards

Sannamari S-S