We finally got around to checking out some of downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas this afternoon. It was the first time the sun had peeked out in days so we had to take advantage of it.
Only two are still operating bathhouses and the rest have been renovated into museums and a visitors center for the National Park. (Hot Springs is the only urban national park in the country! The downtown area is actually the park.)
We went into the Lamar, which is now the gift shop for the National Park. Luke got all the gear to earn his Junior Ranger badge. We haven’t finished it yet, but probably next week, we’ll go get it!
There are little fountains all over with water coming up from the springs. It is naturally around 140 degrees F when it comes to the surface! As you can see in this picture, it is literally steaming out of the ground! It feels like hot bath water.
Here’s a funny story. I guess about 7 years ago, John and I stopped in Hot Springs on our way back to Abilene from a trip to visit his parents in Tennessee. This was before Luke was even born so it seems like another lifetime!
We decided to go out to dinner that night at a restaurant downtown. We planned on having some wine so we took the bus rather than driving. We finish dinner, check out some other places, walk downtown, and then decide to go back. But no bus is arriving?
We later find out that the bus service stopped early in the off season. So we start walking. And walking. And walking. (I was wearing heels that night too!)
A couple of miles down the road we find a cab, but they wouldn’t take us because we didn’t have any cash, only cards. John finally persuaded a cab driver to take a chance and drive us to the ATM so we could pay him and then to the hotel. It was a memorable evening all around (maybe more so from the blisters I had the next day).
Sometimes it seems like the things that go wrong make the best memories later. But, thankfully, today was not one of those days.