Sweating at a Finnish, Wood-Fired Sauna in Richmond, Maine
There's no anticipation quite like that of a sauna on a cold Maine night. The Finns knew how to do it right, and so do the folks at Richmond Sauna, who have built a traditional Finnish wood fired sauna. The main building houses half a dozen sauna rooms, all with wood stoves. These dimly lit retreats allow you to relax and warm your bones, while sweating away all your toxins. When its time to cool off there is an outdoor pool, lightly heated in winter. When you are done with that, move to the hot tub, where you can stargaze and look out at the snow around you. Then its time for a cranberry juice and chat by the fire before you go back for another round of heat. This is a full-on spa, where apart from the excellent heat-treatment offered by the Sauna-pool-hot tub cycle, you can also get a massage. The Sauna has a B&B if you are coming from "away" and don't feel like driving back to Boston. When it started, more than 20 years ago, most of the takers were back-to-the-land hippies who needed to wash. Now its considerably better known, but still has a unique old-time feel, with the owner, Richard, staffing the operation at night.