“Legends tell us warring tribes would lay down their arms to bathe in the healing waters in the Valley of the Vapors. For centuries, this misty Ouachita mountain valley was revered by Native Americans as a place of neutrality where all tribes could bathe in peace. In 1832 Congress set aside the natural hot springs site as a federal reservation, making Hot Springs National Park the first federally protected area in the national park system.”~google search~
Visiting Hot Springs, Arkansas will always be for me, a very sweet memory. At first glance it could be anywhere small town, America. In my minds eye I thought the hot springs to be a series of outside pools containing hot spring water, bubbling up from the ground. I really had no idea what to expect. I was truly amazed by the learning experience that would befall us. Wealthy, generations past, would come here to heal in the thermal waters. Due to the popularity of "The Golden Age of Bathing" large and very elaborate bath houses were erected in a row, thus Bathhouse Row, now part of the National Park Sytem. The above photo is a small glimpse of their extravagance. Today, along with modern medicine they have lost much of their medicinal appeal. We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience the relaxing warm waters in one of the two remaining, working bathhouses. The others are now office space, galleries and museums. I love to visit a place I have never been before and take away the ambience of an era. Retirement, an ongoing learning expedition!
On the road again today!