Hot Springs NP, created in 1832, is the oldest park in the national park system. The heart of the park is Bathhouse Row, a series of bathhouses where people could come to “take the cure,” but long before the bathhouses became fashionable, native Americans had created well-worn trails to the springs. One of the bathhouses, the Fordyce, serves as the visitors’ center now.
The Fordyce Bathhouse
As you approach the main entrance to the park immediately to the left of this building, twin hot spring water fountains spout steaming water into the air. Behind Bathhouse Row is a beautiful landscaped garden including the Grand Promenade and hiking trails, because “the cure” included exercise.
Lucy & Angus on the Grand Promenade
The roof of a bathhouse as seen from the Grand Promenade
I wished I could have seen Bathhouse Row in its heyday, but since that probably means I would have been ill (and because time travel is difficult), I can settle for seeing it now.
We are staying at Lake Ouachita SP, which came recommended by our neighbors at Paul B. Johnson SP near Hattiesburg, MS, David and Paula (who came with Duke the Duck Dog). We snagged a site right on the water so we can experience sunsets like this.
Cinco de mayo sunset–we (I) had margaritas and refried beans at the picnic table
We met our neighbors immediately, and they’re the best so far. Cathy and Laye of Little Rock just bought an RV and they are here testing it out with their friends, Pat and Joe. They are such pleasant people and had some good suggestions for me for touring the region. Best of all, they play piano music cds that I can hear in the camper. When I went to bed the first night here I didn’t even read, I just lay in bed listening to the music.