Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Texas RV Trip - Hot Springs, Ark Again

I've began calling Coco, Coco Rita and we Bev likes it as well and we decided it was her turn on the header.
The story of the town and National Park here is very interesting and it’s often difficult to know when you’re in the park or in the town.  I didn’t realize the hot springs and resulting bathhouses were such a home of the rich-and-famous and ill back at the turn of the century (the previous one). This is the entrance to the third version Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa (fires you know) and it has been in business since 1875, but this one opened in 1924.
It’s another story worth reading if you’re a history or geology buff, but here’s one tidbit – the hot water coming from the springs today fell on the earth 4000 years ago and it takes it that long to percolate to the 8000 foot depth before making it’s quick return to the surface where it’s 143F. 

Here’s a shot of the cascade at the top of Bathhouse Row and across the street from The Arlington, where it flows into a basin and on into the creek.  In the early days the creek flowed just in front of the bath houses but it has been covered and is now flowing under their front lawns.  Note the vapors rising from the water.

The bathhouses draw their water from a man-made reservoir below ground up on the mountain so it is never contaminated, but still hot enough to require cooling prior to use.  I believe there are nine buildings in Bathhouse Row but only five operating and one as the National Park Museum.  Some have private bath tubs while others have larger, multi-person pools.  A private whirlpool mineral bath is now $30, time in the pool is $18. Back in their day, they were really jumping and people came from all over in hopes the hot mineral water would cure their ails.  Bev decided she'd pass on the fairly expensive bath.

The national park has a four story bathhouse preserved as a museum from about 1915 and this spring is in the basement - click on the description to read about it.
After the bath, massage, facial and other indulgences, the guests relaxed in the 3rd floor parlor, with a very nice stained glass ceiling, before heading back to the Arlington or other upscale hotel.
This is the Hubbard Tub used for hydrotherapy and they are still for sale, at least in a stainless steel version.
There is also a tap where anyone can fill up a jug of the famous elixir and a guy earlier had car full of 5 gallon jugs to take home, advising that his family loves to drink it and it’s supposed to make great coffee.   After a trip to Walmart, here I am getting a few jugs to take home and it was indeed hot water.
Sometimes Bev is so funny because when I suggested we go to Walmart for jugs, she ask - "Is there a Walmart here." I replied "think Arkansas, think Walmart, think Sam Walton, think Arkansas, what do you think now." Not surprisingly, there are three in the area.
All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them. 
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South. 

One year ago:  Chicken Pepperoni Ala Dennis

Two years ago:  Brisket Hash - Oh My



  1. I've walked along Bath House row many times as a young person. The Arlington looks as lovely as ever. Thanks for the memories.

    Hot Springs used to be a wild and crazy place (for Arkansas that is) when the gambling casinos were open in the fifties, but I've heard it's a very nice place to retire now.

  2. Guess that's why they call it Hot Springs. We've got some springs here in Colorado, some with bath houses and some you can walk along the rivers and find (by smell) little pools. There's a hint of sulpher. I haven't hiked for springs in years, but used to be a fun thing to do when we were younger. Never thought about hot springs geological part of it, thanks for the lesson. ALSO, where I grew up in Kansas, about 20 miles from home was a known artisian well, we'd load up jugs and drive home with water. It did taste really good. AND, Coco is sporting a pretty snazzy leash! Cute photo. Happy Thanksgiving to the Larry clan.

  3. Looks like you're having a great time on your trip. Hot Springs is such a beautiful place to visit. It's been many years since we were there, but hopefully we can get back again. Since we live in Mo. we don't live that far.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Bev.

  4. We have lots of outdoor natural hot springs in my home state of Idaho - they are the BEST! It looks like you and Bev are having a fun trip. Coco looks great on the header.

  5. What a gorgeous tub! The whole place looks incredible. How did the water taste though? I love visiting different places like that boathouse!

  6. Larry, Hot Springs looks pretty interesting. It's one place that we've never visited. Laurie thinks that your new shorts are snazzy! Travel safely and we're hoping that you and Bev have a great Thanksgiving... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  7. You know I love the historical notes, and I would totally have splurged on the pricy bath. I'd have tried the water, too.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Larry.

  8. Love the stained glass ceiling! I could easily handle living like this, but a jacuzzi tub will suffice nicely!


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