Life on the Open Road (April 2006 - May 2008)

The continuing saga of a single fulltime RVer who travels the western US. This is part one of my journey, from April 2006, when the blog started, to May 2008, when the blog continues at

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I have been a full-time RVer for 18 years, primarily "boondocking," camping free without hookups, in the Western US. I am connected electronically with the world via satellite TV, phone and internet. My batteries are charged solely by solar panels. I welcome your comments and emails.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hot Springs

Hot Springs, Arkansas was the first stop on the WINs NARKSMO tour. Forty-seven natural hot springs, flowing at 143 degrees provide the town's main attraction.

This picture shows the town in 1875. The first bathhouses built in the 1800s were crude wooden structures.

In the early 1900s, elaborate buildings replaced the primitive structures. These are the buildings that make up Bathhouse Row today.

The Buckstaff Bathhouse, one of the original bathhouses, is the only one still operational today. A whirlpool mineral bath, loofa mitt, and 20-minute Swedish massage goes for $50.

Bathhouse Row is part of Hot Springs National Park. This restored bathouse is the Visitors Center for the park.

Tours of the three floors are offered by guides in period dress, or you can wander around on your own.

The men's bath hall, where the central fountain depicts Hernando de Soto, legendary visitor to the springs in 1541, being offered hot water by a Caddo Indian maiden.

The hydrotherapy room, which looked like a torture chamber to me. Current was added to the water of the tub in the foreground to make an "electric bath." Amazingly, they never killed anyone!

The ceiling displays a stained glass scene entitled Neptune's Daughter. Guys might want to click on the picture to get a larger view of some of the details.

Free water all over town! A little hot, but possibly the purest mineral water in the world today. The water rising in the spring today fell over 3,500 years ago, thereby missing manmade pollutants.

Water from 44 of the hot springs is piped into the 300,000 gallon reservoir beneath the National Park Headquarters. It is then disbursed throughout town.

We also visited the Garvan Woodland Gardens, on the shore of Lake Hamilton. Beautiful flowers, waterfalls, and trails. But I thought the neatest thing was the Anthony Chapel, made of southern yellow pine and glass. The 60-foot high ceiling seems to float among the trees.


Blogger Barbara and Ron said...

Interesting, as always. Especially good pictures of the chapel in Garvin Gardens. Mine were hopeless.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Ready Maid said...

Looks as if you had a great day in Hot Springs! Glad you had nice weather, too.

My husband and I visited Hot Springs only one time six years ago before deciding to move here three months later.

Named as the No. 1 place in America to retire by geographer Warren Bland , Hot Springs was confirmed as a top retirement destination on a recent Today Show segment by realtor Barbara Corcoran.

I gotta admit, Hot Springs is a pretty cool place to live, even for those of us who aren't yet retired.

To see some of the things we enjoy, check out these short docu-videos at Spa Vlogger.

Rebecca McCormick,
Travel Journalist and Photographer,
The Sentinel-Record

P.S. I spend a lot of time at Anthony Chapel on weekends - either performing wedding ceremonies or playing my cello in a string quartet.

9:20 PM  

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