Saturday, November 19, 2011
Sweating in a Sweat Lodge
Recipe for how to have fun, sweat and freeze all at the same time
1. A few days before sweat lodge / Finnish Sauna event travel to Utah's black rock desert to gather some black basalt rocks.
2. Make sure to be working with other Young Men leaders who have all of the necessary gear you may not have.
3. Meet at 5:00 and finally depart at 5:30.
4. Bring along four adventuresome, willing-to-work young men.
5. Ignore weather forecasts of snow arriving by 6:00 or 7:00 pm.
6. Pick up two Papa John's deep dish pizzas en route.
7. Drive up Diamond Fork Canyon to pre-selected camp site (tested last year in the first annual Finnish Sauna) that has a big fire pit and abuts a cold stream.
8. Place a dozen basalt rocks in the fire pit then build a big fire on top. Keep fire well fed so that rocks are soon enveloped in hot coals.
9. Light the charcoal and once hot start cooking the pizzas in a dutch oven.
10. Send the young men creek side to build the dome shaped sweat lodge out of three long PVC pipe and 6 re-bar stakes which are covered by an assortment of tarps tied together.
11. Stand around the fire eating cookie dough (from Papa John's) while tending the fire and waiting for the pizza.
12. Eat the pizza--the first just right, the second with a burnt bottom (it gives it that extra tang).
13. Change (in the cold dark) into swimsuits and water shoes.
14. Pull the red (literally) hot rocks out of the fire, put into a large galvanized steel tub and carefully carry the tub down to the lodge.
15. Pack three leaders and four boys into the lodge. Sit on buckets or stools. Use water bottles to squirt water on to the hot rocks.
16. Watch hot steam rise from the rocks filling the tent and fogging up glasses.
17. Stand up to feel the greatest heat.
18. After about five minutes (we were not trying for any records or for any heat induced religious trances) of heat and extreme sweating, all run out of the lodge and go lay down in icy Diamond Fork River. Screaming is allowed.
19. Run back into the lodge and warm up in the steam.
20. Repeat steps 15-19 two more times.
21. Return to the fire to warm up and change clothes.
22. Dowse the rocks in the river for five minutes thinking they are now cooled only to have them continue to steam once placed in the back on my Subaru.Transfer the rocks to the back of David Lange's truck so that I can see to drive.
23. Take down the lodge and clean up camp.
24. Load up cars at about 10:00 pm just as the first flakes of snow start to fall.
25. Drive very slowly down Spanish Fork Canyon in two inches of fresh snow and big white flakes blowing steadily and blindingly into your windshields.
26. Keep drinking lots of water to re-hydrate after all of the sweating.
27. Shower and climb into bed feeling amazingly alive and happy for new adventures