Friday, December 10, 2010

We Took a Bath

Yes, today we took a bath in the famous thermal spring waters found only in Hot Springs, Arkansas. All our aches, pains and ailments are forever gone and we now feel years younger.

During its heyday, tens of thousands of people came here by stagecoach, steamtrain, horseback or any other means to bathe in elegant bath houses in hopes of curing themselves of whatever health problems ailed them. Today it's a National Park with a museum, hiking trails, observation tower and camping as well as two fully restored, operational bathhouses. We chose the Quapaw Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row to see what this special water is all about.

There were four separate bathing pools to choose from with different temperatures in each, ranging from 90 degrees to 104 degrees. No chlorine or chemicals are used; the thermal spring water flows through continuously, much like bathing in a stream would be. We tried all four baths but agreed that the 98-100 degree one was best. The water we bathed in today, fell as rain 4000 years ago, can you imagine that? We would do this again; a must do if you are in Arkansas!

Steam could be seen all over town rising from fountains, storm drains, natural springs, leaking pipes and all manner of cracks and crevices. This National Park is considered an "urban park" as all of the hot springs are within the city limits.

Free spring water is available all over town. Spigots are provided that dispense the precious H2O at its natural temperature of 143 degrees. I asked the Park Ranger on duty if I could fill the 90 gallon fresh water tank in our RV with this spring water. She said no one had ever asked her that question, but she couldn't think of a reason why not. "My hose wouldn't reach, and I'd have to double park and hold up traffic" I replied, maybe next time.

Very few springs remain in their natural state. Most have been capped off to harvest this unique resource hidden deep below the earth's surface.

Bill Clinton's hometown too!

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