Friday, March 17, 2006

Some Like It hot

three inches deep and rising! that's the sauna door.
our favorite, and only, medical device is our sauna. we first built one eight years ago in a space under an outbuilding. it was on a lower level in our back yard, normally 15 feet above the creek. we would walk out the back door, down some concrete steps, and into our little hotbox. the creek did come up high enough one year to be six inches deep in the sauna. i rolled out of bed early that day and moved the electric heater up onto the benches before the water rose. we used that sauna for many years, until we replaced a crumbling rock retaining wall with concrete and did away with the steps. actually, we clambered down on temporary steps to use the sauna for 3 months. then i took it apart and rebuilt it in the same building upstairs, level with the upper yard.
our brand new sauna. 2 by 4s and plywood, not yet sturdy.
in preparation for our retirement and big move north we sold our house and rented for 9 months to finish jobs and let the pirate age enough to get social security. no sauna. boo hoo. so when we arrived here a new sauna was the first project. it is a six foot by ten foot stand alone building sitting on four cast concrete pads. the sauna part is six by six and the remainder, as can be seen in the picture, is a little sheltered area to sit outside. the exterior is cedar shingles and all the trim is cedar. the benches and ceiling are made from cedar fence boards. the walls are redwood planks which came from a very old house in capitola, california that i remodeled extensively many years ago. they were milled maybe one hundred fifty years ago. the same planks were the walls and ceiling in our first sauna, mentioned above. yes. we moved a stack of wood. but it is antique wood. for a modern finishing touch, i set up little computer speakers inside, and we take our ipod along for music.
we use our sauna two or three times a week in cold weather. kinda like an artificially induced high temp fever. something about body temp above 104 degrees killing pathogens. hope we got that right. could be a defense against bird flu. can't hurt. sure feels good.
that's a Tylo su 7 electric sauna heater. that means 7 kilowatts. it came with a box of rocks. genuine granite. the rocks are in the center section. it heats very well, although the timer doesn't work, but the thermostat does. so we can turn it on, set it to a desired heat level, enjoy it, and then turn it off. it takes 20-30 minutes to heat up. we spend a lot of R & R time in here.

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