Monday, October 15, 2007

How to make a Primitive Sauna

This weekend a bunch of gals from our bookclub (Fellow Bookclub Honeys - Jen, Lisa, Monica, Sharon and I) went to the Dearborn River to Jen's land (about 2 1/2 hours from Missoula).

We headed out on Friday at about 5pm...and had a mandatory dinner stop in Wolf Creek at this place called "The Frenchman and Me".

We pulled into her land at about 8pm and stayed up until about 2am catching up and singing around a warm campfire.

Ana snuggled with Monica and Lisa in the popup, along with Jen.
Skagit and I stayed in the tent, so I could try to get her used to the camping idea. Of course she kept me up for most of the night because she was curious about all the sounds outside. Including the hoot of an owl on Saturday morning...which was music to my ears.

We walked over to Jen's parents house to get some butter and to invite them for breakfast.

Jen pointed out a good fishing hole and sure enough we saw a trout up against one of the rocks below. I brought my rod with me - but didn't get a chance to wet a line since there were so many other things to do! Like make a Sauna!
Lisa described the process that it took to make the rock formations in the area across the river...(lava)
This is Jen's Pa - Patrick.
And her Mom - Karen.
On our way back to Jen's we walked up the cliff that overlooks her place. It was a beautiful view.

Then we started in on building our sauna. We first needed a structure. Jen's Art booth was the perfect thing to use! Did I mention Jen is a talented artist?

We used tarps, some canvas, and a bunch of blankets to keep in the warmth.

We used rocks to seal the cold air from our makeshift tent.

We warmed up rocks in our fire (you need them in there for atleast an hour).

Jen made us a delicious breakfast!
And Sharon showed up just in time! She drove all the way from Kalispell to be with us.
We made the tent even cozier by removing the back "legs" from the structure.
Sharon, Lisa, Monica, Jen and Me.

We collected sage from the area to do some sage slapping that Jen told us about. It is a ritual that she learned while she was in Finland.

Skagit got up on the hammock in the afternoon (all by herself) as we were sitting around after a couple saunas & cool dips in the Dearborn.

I never relized until now how easy it is to make a sauna. I plan on doing it often! Especially on river trips and up at the lake.

To recap all you need is: A structure, an old tent or tarps (and extra blankets if you want to keep it real hot in there!, a fire to warm some rocks for atleast an hour (make sure the rocks are not from the river as they may blow up when heated and/or cooled, a pair of gloves to get the rocks out of the fire, a metal bucket to put the rocks in, and plenty of water to drink and to pour over the rocks once inside the sauna.

The only other thing you have to make sure that you have is good company ! And we had plenty of that. Thanks girls - for a wonderful weekend!

It's hard to believe it is mid October! Sometimes I have to pinch myself! Life is so good!

More pictures can be found on Sharon's Blog.


Anonymous said...

Awesome job ladies! What a beautiful place. This is inspiring. Building a sauna is my next venture.

Ebeth said...

It is so simple to make, yet we got so much enjoyment out of it! Good luck building yours! I'd love to hear about it!

I still can't stop talking about that beautiful day on the Dearborn! It was a spectacular Indian summer day, as you can tell from the pictures.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ladies,
This message comes from Alabama. Looks like all you all had a great time. It is great to have friends that you can share special times with.

"Life is short, Play Naked!"

Take care of Jen and the family -

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