(guest post from Tom Rolando)
That sums up my summer. What started out as a dream several years ago of wanting a sauna – not just any sauna, but a sauna to end all sauna’s – turned into reality in the summer of 2010. Thanks to a chance meeting with saunatimes.com through a recommendation from an Old School champion stove maker in Minnesota’s deep Northwoods Iron Range Country, my dream of owning a sauna in my very own backyard became a reality.
Lose the sick tree
After a brief survey of the yard, it was readily decided that the best place to build the sauna was in a spot that at the time was reserved for the last 18 years with a homely and lonely tree. You see this wasn’t just any tree, it was our first tree as a family ever planted in our new home when we first moved in to our home those 18 years ago. The story behind this particular tree is that we’ve never ever liked it. It never really grew up to be a real tree, even after years of tender loving care. Every year, the leaves first appeared like a teenage on a weekend morning, sprouting in late June and then acting like an old-timer turning in at 9PM on a Saturday night, with all its leaves falling off by August 15th. The branches took forever to grow to any noticeable size and the beauty of the tree really never sparkled through.
Gain the healthy sauna
Before we could get started on the sauna, a revamp to the back patio was needed to make room for a platform for the sauna, extension of the grounds and a fire pit to boot. Once this was done, Glenn & Sauna Times got busy building our very own Finnish Sauna. Everything was built to Old School, Northwoods Iron Range specifications. Cedar siding, cedar shakes, wood burning stove and old school cedar tongue and groove (we did modernize as any Ranger will do with wall mounted speakers and a flat panel TV). We even used Lake Superior bottom for the stove hot rocks!!
The finished Finnish product is a site to behold and some days we miss the tree but ahhh the sauna is tops……….we love it!!