We Made It

We’ve had to cancel two previous trips to Hot Springs Arkansas. This was the year to make it happen.

Hot Springs KOA

The healing waters of Hot Springs Arkansas have been drawing people to the area for centuries. The US Congress in 1832 created a 4 mile square reservation to protect the springs for public use. We arrived during Indigenous Day Weekend and the public was out in force.

The Quapaw built in 1922
Some of the amazing tile work found in the bath houses

Bath house row is located along Central Avenue and it was an unmasked mob scene when we arrived. We took refuge behind the bath houses along the Grand Promenade.

Soaking in the baths was not the only reason people came here. The extensive system of hiking trails was seen as a healthful addition to soaking in the hot spring water. Many of the trails are accessible from the Promenade.

One of the trails that lead to Summit Tower

After a hot and sweaty hike we made it to the top.

The observation deck offers 360 degree views of the Hot Springs Reserve.

Central Avenue

The hot springs here have no volcanic component to them. So how do they attain their average temperature of 143 degrees? The spring water begins as snow or rain that trickles into cracks in the brittle mountain rocks (novaculite and chert). As it travels through the earth’s crust it heats up through conduction. The trip takes about 4000 years. That’s not a typo.

Novaculite which was used for centuries by the indigenous residents to create arrowheads

The Park Service provides spigots in several locations around town for filling containers with spring water.

Our friends Tom and Margret told us about a Hot Springs barbecue institution, McClard’s.

We enjoyed a late lunch in the embrace of southern hospitality. A lovely experience. Thanks for suggesting we go there Tom and Margaret!!

We spent most of our time in the area exploring the hiking trails. Our hike to Goat Rock offered a nice view of the mountains around Hot Springs.

An old goat at Goat Rock
The view from Goat Rock (No Fall colors yet)

Our last hike in the area was to Balanced Rock, a short steep 2 mile hike.

Balanced Rock

We left Hot Springs and continued our journey West into Oklahoma. We spent two nights at Lake Eufaula State Park. The lake is the largest within the borders of the state.

The Tincan made a friend at Lake Eufaula

The park has over 15 miles of mountain bike trails but the rain kept the bikes in the truck.

The rain got us into the truck to do a bit of sightseeing. We found ourselves in Honey Springs and the childhood home of Oklahoma blues legend DC Minner.

No one was around but we enjoyed peeking in windows and reading the signage.

Finally we packed up the trailer and headed to Oklahoma City. We’ve driven through twice but had never stopped.

Our campsite came with a storm cellar

We came to see the memorial for the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building which was bombed April 19,1995.

One of the remaining walls
The Reflecting Pool
Field of Empty Chairs, one for every victim

This was a somber end to our Oklahoma visit. It was an affecting memorial that had us thinking about the lives lost, particularly the children.

12 thoughts on “We Made It”

  1. Beautiful hikes in hot springs!! That’s cool. What a powerful image those chairs from the OK bombing. Thanks for sharing ❤️


  2. beautiful photos of your fantastic journey
    glad you got to mc clards…hot springs…et el
    safe travels..love from me..tom…beansie..& it


  3. Thoroughly enjoying your travels, if only vicariously. The empty chairs at the Federal Bldg are every bit as poignant as the benches at the Pentagon. I imagine 700,000 white flags at the Washington Monument were equally so. Heartbreaking.


  4. Thanks so much for picking up on your blog. You’re taking me places I’ve never been and I’m learning history I never knew. You guys rock!


  5. Hi folks.  It’s great to see you on the road again. Hour photos are so wonderful. Hoping you stay safe as we continue to enjoy hour Tin Can Travels. Saw Marc Iacona recently and he’s hoping to bring back the jazz festival downtown next June or July.  One can only hope. Have some great adventures. Sue and John Bardo. 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone


  6. Hi Pat,

    Love these picture blogs. Thanks again for the article: I’ve been promoting it—it’s succinct and well written.



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