We’ve had to cancel two previous trips to Hot Springs Arkansas. This was the year to make it happen.
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.
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.
After a hot and sweaty hike we made it to the top.
The observation deck offers 360 degree views of the Hot Springs Reserve.
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.
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.
Our last hike in the area was to Balanced Rock, a short steep 2 mile hike.
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 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.
We came to see the memorial for the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building which was bombed April 19,1995.
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.