We had a joyful first summer, boating, swimming, frolicking. But summer passed, and before we knew it, we were met with the first heavy chill of Northern Minnesota one morning. Awakening with a cold nose and ears, seeing our breath, I knew the old Franklin stove that came with the cabin wasn’t going to cut it. I bought my first sauna stove from Daryl Lamppa, the local welder in town, and put it in the cabin. My plan was to heat the cabin with the sauna stove, then move it out to the sauna that I had yet to build or design. We fought back the cabin chill with that first Kuuma. I learned about all the principles of good heat with this sauna stove. I learned the benefits of a good base of coals, how and when to load the firebox with a yule log or two, and the importance of dampering down the fire for a long slow burn. This stove was a gem, and gave our cabin warmth.
I developed a relationship with Daryl Lamppa, the maker of the Kuuma stove. This wasn’t easy. I wasn’t just a “612’er” (named after the area code of Minneapolis), I was from the East Coast! The pace and demeanor of people not from 218 (Northern Minnesota) can be too much for many in the Northland. But, remember, I had spent an entire summer on an island with a couple of Daryl Lamppas. I learned how to engage with folks more comfortable looking at their own shoes when they spoke (vs. my shoes).