10/18-10/24/21 Hot Springs

If we had gone with our original plan we would have spent this week in Northern Texas, but as I suspected last week we extended our stay until this Friday. Our goal is to get to Livingston (not far from Houston) to set up our residency in Texas, so instead of a stop in between here and there we will go the full distance. Well worth it, there is a lot this area has to offer and we want to take it in.

The beginning of the week took us to historical Bathhouse Row. This can be a bit confusing to navigate as it seems at first there are many choices. In actuality, there are only two operating as a bathhouse now. The others have been repurposed as a Restaurant, Visitor Center, Cultural Center, and one is actually up for sale. The NP service is taking applications for buyers who want to contribute to preserving it but my understanding is they are open to what type of business it would operate as.

The two operating as a bathhouse are Buckstaff and Quapaw. Buckstaff offers an authentic experience honoring the way they operated when they opened. They are separated by gender, and are basically a big room with spa tubs and curtains, you go in with a towel and a smile. Quapaw has been renovated to operate as a spa and are coed with a room of 5 pools, you wear swim suits. They also offer private baths that include couple packages which was our preference but those were booked. We opted for Quapaw because we wanted to go together. It was nice, each of the 5 pools are different temperatures ranging from 95 to 104 degrees. You are meant to move from pool to pool so you have opportunities to cool down and start over. We spent about an hour there soaking, it was a nice treat since we do not have ways to soak in a tub at the RV.

I didn’t take any pictures while I was in the pools area, my phone was in my locker. I found a few images online just to give you an idea:

Ed and I have sampled lots of hot springs over our years together, if the town has them we go. So far my favorite is still in Hot Springs, Virginia during our stay at the Homestead Resort. That one was unique because it was an old spherical structure out to itself in a field, and inside it’s just basically a hole in the ground with the natural spring. It had been preserved from the days that Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, etc spent time in them. So this was a different experience but still well worth going and relaxing. We also had a Swedish massage there later in the week, and it was divine.

As a side note, the Hot Springs are what brought baseball to the area. In that time, the players are described as being “uninhibited” and the coaches would send them after a bender to “boil the toxins” out of them. I haven’t made it over to the Visitor Center yet, but it offers a free museum that spans three floors and I am sure it tells lots of stories on how the Hot Springs expanded the town.

We also hiked in the National Park. We choose the Goat Rock Trail which was beautiful. We are hoping to hike more this week as there are lots of opportunities. A stomach bug took us out in the latter part of last week for a couple days and we ran out of time.

Last weekend when we visited Crater of the Diamond State Park we stopped at this “Indian Village” tourist stop on our way out of Murfeesboro. The Caddo Indian Reservation used to occupy the area so there are some Native American burial mounds and endless historical artifacts in their store and museum. We learned that they were preparing for a metal detecting event the following weekend. Basically, they had buried some tokens out in a couple of fields that have numbers on them that match prizes.

Intrigued, Ed decided to sign up as he has been a metal detecting enthusiast for as long as I can remember. That meant we would have separate activities for the weekend, which was a nice change of pace. I didn’t do all that much -just some shopping and some chores- but I enjoyed the quiet time. I could have gone with him but I knew he would have been focused on whether I was having a good time, ready to go, etc, and I wanted him to go untethered to this metal detecting non-enthusiast.

Ed had a great time on his “treasure hunt”. There were about 200 people competing. He brought back some old coins, some small pieces of gold, a some bullets from the Civil War that were just there (two unfired, one fired), not part of the contest, some fossils, etc.

He returned early in the afternoon on Sunday, he said he was about metal-detected out. However, I am hearing rumblings of upgrading his metal detector now, so I know he had a great time.

His early arrival cleared some time for us to make it over to the Garvan Woodland Gardens, which had been on our list. What a wonderful place to have a romantic stroll with your person! I would love to see it in other seasons! This is a must-see if you enjoy nature and are ever visiting.

There were two weddings yesterday in that chapel, and on our way to see it we got to see a secret: the bride and groom riding on the back of a golf cart to be transported to another area for their reception. Whoever they are, I wish them a lifetime of love and happiness, they were a beautiful couple!

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