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Hot Springs National Park

Time for a bath!

sunny 90 °F

Hurricane Florence ran us out of South Carolina a day early so we made it to Hot Springs National Park on Saturday, 9-15-18, after a layover in Tupelo, MS. To Tupelo: 509 miles = $185 in diesel fuel. Gas mileage = 8.1 miles MPG (probably would have been 9 MPG but we ran the generator a lot for the A/C. Camping overnight at a Walmart in Tupelo = PRICELESS!

Only four more hours to Hot Springs where we first went to the National Park visitors center and purchased our lifetime pass for seniors (age 62 = Maggie) for only $80 which gets us into any national park forever for half price. WHAT A DEAL!!!! So our camping at Hot Springs dropped from $30 to $15 per night. Booking.YEAH! Check out more info about this park at the Hot Springs Wikipedia page.

After setting up camp, we enjoyed a tasty ribeye, grilled potatoes, salad, and a nice bordeaux.

Hint: You can see all the photos larger and as a slideshow by clicking the Photography link to the right

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Sunday, we hiked up and down Hot Springs Mountain on our way into town.

Our hiking sticks have now been updated:
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Scenes from the trail:
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At the end of the trail we arrived at the promenade behind the bath houses:
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The Superior Bathhouse has been converted to a brewery:
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A yummy giant, soft pretzel and beer tasting!
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I took one of our pups, Braddock, up to Goat Rock on Hot Springs Mountain for a dawn hike on Monday and saw a beautiful sunrise:

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Then I biked up to the North Mountain loop for another cool view:

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Monday, Maggie was treated to a deluxe bath package (mineral bath, massage, etc.) at the Buckstaff Bathhouse.

Pix from Bath House Row:

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VERY HOT WATER (143F) fountains are all over town:

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Pix from around Hot Springs:

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We also visited the National Park Museum at the Fordyce Bathhouse where they have a lot of the original equipment used back in the 1920's. Very interesting. And kind of creepy!:

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Here's Maggie about her bathhouse experience: "My experience at the Buckstaff bathhouse was different but enjoyable. My aide was Julie. I was in the thermal bath, an old white, cast-iron, porcelain tub, for approx. 20 minutes then moved to the Sitz bath which Julie said was used to help one’s back. Unusual for sure, sitting with your knees up. From there I was put in the vapor box for five minutes. After the vapor box I moved to the cooling room. I was fully relaxed by then and my skin was losing its raisin look. Then Julie moved me to the needle shower. I was a little hesitant because its name sounded painful, but the actual experience was more like a flood of water from multiple shower heads that almost made me feel like I was drowning! (I am short, after all.) The equipment I used was the same equipment used in the early 1900s. Next, I was handed over to Lena, my massage specialist. I thoroughly enjoyed my Swedish massage. Definitely need to have one again soon. Last was the paraffin hand treatment which was amazing. Mike loved my soft hands afterwards! Overall, a great experience and very reasonable, all for only $79!.

OK, so she was indeed relaxed afterward and told me she was ready for a cold pint of beer and lo and behold, right across from the bathhouse was the oldest bar in Arkansas, the Ohio Club. The actual wood bar back was something to behold. The pictures don't do it justice. Check out the bar's history here.

Pix from the Ohio Bar. Check out the dress on the original owner's wife:

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Campground Review

We loved the campground inside the park, Gulpha Gordge Campground. It's one of those campgrounds that you can't reserve in advance, all sites were first-come, first-serve. Fortunately, there were several good sites available, otherwise we would have stayed at the KOA a little further out of town. Park hosts were great, the sites were clean, a nice creek flowed alongside the campground and there was also a small pond. Great hiking trails started right inside the park, one of which takes you straight into town, and dogs were allowed on the trails. Biking into town from the park was also very easy. We also walked into town from the park, along the roads, most of which had sidewalks. There are no sidewalks however, the first half-mile or so, which made us a little nervous during traffic. Hiking into and out of the town via the park trail was much more fun, but also much more strenuous because of the steeper hills. We would definitely stay at this park again!

Posted by travelswitz 17:26 Archived in USA Tagged springs hot arkansas bathhouse Comments (0)

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