The First Trip: Hot Springs, Arkansas

When we left home, our first destination was the quaint resort town of Hot Springs, Arkansas, home of warm-ish winter temperatures, beautiful vistas and fresh spring water.

ImageEric at the Falls, Lake Catherine State Park

We enjoyed around 7 miles of hiking at Lake Catherine State Park.  The trails were a little more difficult to maneuver than normal, thanks to many recently-downed trees, which we had to climb over or under.  The views were incredible, with several waterfalls along the route.

Later on, we drove to Lake Ouachita State Park, for an eagle-watching boat tour on the sizable lake.  Bald Eagles normally migrate south during the winter to hang out in the milder weather; we were lucky enough to come upon a pair that had actually built a nest on the lakefront.  It was pretty amazing to see such majestic creatures up close, carrying tree branches to build a home.  Wow.

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Of course, the natural beauty surrounding us was amazing, but we also enjoyed the town of Hot Springs.  There was an eclectic mix of attractions and restaurants, including The Gangster Museum of America (which we opted to skip on this trip), and the historic Bathhouse Row.  Hot Springs has always been a destination for those seeking the natural health benefits supposedly offered by the natural mineral waters.

Eric and I enjoyed to have a traditional bathing treatment at one of the few bathhouses open at this time of year, Spa 135, located inside The Springs Hotel.  It was a neat setup: men and women had separate locker rooms, where you changed into a robe.  A “bath” consists of a 20-minute soak in steamy mineral waters, a few minutes in a steam cabinet, hot towel wraps, then a cold shower.  I skipped that last step.  The whole process was very relaxing, and sleep-inducing, in my opinion.  Eric, hot-natured beast that he is, was overheated.

The old Ozark Bathhouse was converted to the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2003.  I took an Ikebana class one day, and made this beauty:

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After class, I had the privilege of strolling around the museum.  Most work was done by local artists, and there were some very intriguing pieces.

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Spoon Man (I made that up)

ImageAbe Lincoln, constructed entirely of nails.

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Upstairs was a room full of traditional Chinese dioramas, wherein everything was made from leather.  No one was able to tell me which sort of animal supplied the leather.  That kind of bothers me.

One of my favorite places in Hot Springs was the old boulevard, located just behind Bathhouse Row.  Back in the day, this is where the well-to-do folk would promenade.  Many hot springs were visible on the grounds here, and the park was immaculately kept.

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Artsy detail of the brick work:

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And one of my very favorite things on this trip was a random frog, who seemed to have cyclical vomiting syndrome:

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I hope you have enjoyed this visit  to Hot Springs as much as we did!

-H

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Comments
9 Responses to “The First Trip: Hot Springs, Arkansas”
  1. Cathy Briner says:

    So glad to see the trip in progress. I’m still smiling from the” frog’s cyclical vomiting syndrome”! Regarding the Chinese leather figures….my guess (based on Chuck’s travels in China) is that the leather source was the dogs, cats, snakes, rats, and various other animal skins left at the back doors of the restaurants after dinner hour! Keep the travelogues (sp?) coming so that we know you’re safe! Love you both.

  2. Mary Anne Loehr says:

    Thanks for the great blog, Holly. I enjoyed reading about Hot Springs:)
    I am currently at Amelia and Rick’s. They are looking forward to your visit here.
    Please know you are always welcome to my spare bedroom in Indianapolis!

  3. Oh, oh! If y’all go to Florida, you have to do an airboat ride! We took one and saw baby alligators, big alligators, birds galore and a bald eagle. It was beautiful out there!

  4. Dan Loehr says:

    wow this is all new to me!I thought I would see Eric competing with the Frog!Glad you guys are having fun.Ill check in later.
    Dan Loehr

  5. Juancho says:

    What’s up Eric? Just met you at Munson Hills in Tallahassee. You just caught perfect surf at a gem of the South. Good luck at Leadville! Juancho. http://www.bigringcircus.blogspot.com.

    • mrericnewman says:

      Great meeting you today! Thanks for the good luck at Leadville, I need all I can get! Munson trails were great, I didn’t make it to Tom Brown trails today, planning on it tomorrow.

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