AAAAAHHH HOT MINERAL BATHS massage and mountains

Trip Start Nov 19, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Arkansas
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday October 6th

Arkansas is all about Water, Rocks and Mountains!!  There is water everywhere!! -- including in the air!  It started raining at Heifer and it hasn't stopped.  It sprinkles and mists then does a down pour and then back to misting.  Not the greatest for sightseeing or doing our usual kayaking and hiking and biking.  But....this part of Arkansas is all about HOT water!  Bubbling out of the ground everywhere for hundreds of years.  It comes out of the ground at 143 degrees and gets reduced to 105 degrees for the hot baths we took. 

Chilled and damp we arrived at the Buckstaff Bath House, one of the two houses that have been restored to active spas after closing down in the '50's.  Andy and I went for the "bath special". Hot mineral bath soak with a lufa sponge scrub down, then a sitz bath, then a steam bath, then a shower with tons of shower heads and jets and sprays and who knows what!!  I was in la la land by that time.  Then we were guided to chaise lounges where the attendants wrapped HOT cloths around our shoulders, arms, legs and lower back  and a COLD cloth around our faces.  HEAVEN ON EARTH  Then we each got a massage!  We did all this in under two hours and on separate floors of the same building.  It was amazing!!  The attendants were experts at ushering us around just right so we felt guided, cared for and immeasurably pampered.  

We walked on down the street and strolled into Rolando's Restaurant-- Brazilian and fabulous!  Even took a few pix of our lunch it was so well presented!  Home to our campsite for some old movies and a quiet night. 

The weather took a turn for the better with some sunshine peeking through so we drove over to the Garvan Gardens.  It was lovely to walk for a couple of miles through wonderfully landscaped and maintained gardens.  The architecture was remarkable.  Pictures tell it best.  Andy went on to the baths at the Qua Paw Bath House the next day while I roamed the streets taking in the local color and architecture.  The day had become sunny and too warm for me to get in a hot bath.  Andy loved it!!

Arkansas rocks--- crystal mines are scattered in the hills beckoning one to come and dig through their tailings for treasure.  We decided ,due to the mostly nasty weather and not really being all that into getting muddy, to go to the store.  A virtual field of crystals, glass and rocks -  Interesting and fun.  Rocks always have me thinking about my Aunt Mama Dot.  She was a micro paleontologist and brought rocks to a new level for me as a child.

The next day we went back to the town and took in the Fordyce Bath House that has been restored as a museum and visitor's center.  Great experience to think of Al Capone and his cronies taking baths and getting massages just like we had only days before.  Only I would not suggest anyone allow the contraptions you will see in the pics be used on yourself!!  They look totally lethal.  Maybe they inspired Capone and his guys to be more interesting than just breaking legs!!

A beautiful town and wonderful National Park.  We didn't get to do any of the hiking that is offered in the mountains here.  The weather just didn't cooperate long enough.  We will come back for the rest of what Hot Springs National Park has to offer!!! 

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