The re-opening of the hot springs in late December went fairly well. The weather was mild and sunny. We were grateful not to be plowing the road, shoveling snow, and sanding the walkways. The weather continues to be quite nice for outdoor activities as of January 17th. The mountains are bare and we'll want some moisture eventually. In the meantime, we might as well enjoy the mild temperatures. It's not often that you can be comfortable on a short afternoon hike without clothing in early January.
Over the New Year's holiday, we discovered a burned out and broken element in the sauna heater. The sauna remained usable with the remaining element but it did take longer for the temperature to recover from the continually opening door with lots of traffic and a cooled down stove due to lots of water being poured on. When the sauna is functioning normally, the water boils away more quickly. With an element out, the extra water caused the air temperature to go down ten to twenty degrees and it took longer to heat back up. Remember to be careful when putting water on the hot rocks. Water will damage the electrical heating elements so be careful to prevent water splashing into the heater itself.