Just another scenic drive in Norway!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Geiranger, Norway!

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Exploring southwestern Norway until July 26th.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hot Springs, Arkansas

We took a break from driving yesterday and hiked into the town of Hot Springs. There is a one mile hiking trail that goes from the campground into the town. It poured with rain all morning, but things cleared up a bit by 11:00am or so.

It actually got quite warm and muggy, with a high of 81F (28C). We were sweating by the time we got to town, and I had worn jeans thinking it was cool out! Oh well...!

This is now a rehabilitation hospital, but it was originally built as a combined Army-Navy hospital. This building was put up in the 1930's, replacing an original structure from 1882. Back then people believed in the healing powers of the hot springs and so this was a logical choice for a hospital at the time.

Not the best picture, but this is the only natural spring still flowing.
 The water temperature coming out of the ground is 143F.
 The rest have all been capped or piped for use in buildings.

We walked around town and saw the original bath houses that are now all part of the Hot Springs National Park. The springs and bath houses were very popular from 1900 to 1940, but the first bath house closed down in 1962 as more "modern" medical practices discounted the value of the baths. The last one closed 1984, however since then a modern health spa has opened that uses the hot springs water.

They have restored the Fordyce bath house and it now serves as the visitors center. Some of the rooms and equipment in them look more like a torture chambers than anything!

Some kind of dipping tub

The gymnasium

We hiked back to the campground and had a late lunch. The afternoon was nice and we just sat around and read our books. Being a Sunday afternoon, the campground was pretty quiet, although some motorcycle tenters arrived after dinner.

We didn't have a great sleep last night because it rained quite a bit and with a lot of thunder that lasted a long time! This morning is overcast, but we have to do some driving. Plan on making it into Texas today, but we have to find a laundromat and some groceries along the way.


  1. Amazing how the weather can change so quickly, but you ended up with a pretty nice day, and a bit of history of the local area.

  2. Good post! Nice pictures of the bath house.

  3. Looks like a good day to tour, that bath looks pretty fancy I guess it was for patients that couldn't get in and out by themselves. Hope your weather improves on the way to Texas. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.....

  4. Heh heh .. looks like an evil torture chamber!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  5. Looks like an interesting town. Too bad about the rain. Only 4 more sleeps to Mexico!!

  6. I really loved Hot Springs. I even took a treatment at that very old bathhouse that is there. It was wonderful, with antique plumbing, old iron tubs, and big fat towels. It was a great treat, I think it is in my blog back in December of 2007 or something like that. Lovely little town, for sure

  7. We loved Hot Springs. Too bad you didn't have more time. There are some great trails to hike. Enjoy the ride.

  8. Our original plan had us taking the RV through Hot Springs earlier this year. But for a variety of reasons we took a more Easterly track north, so we missed it.

    Nice to be able to visit virtually with you all. Thanks.


  9. George and Suzie...We had great weather in the afternoon but by the evening it was back to thunderstorms and plenty of rain.

    Randy and Pam...Thanks!

    Sam and Donna...Actually that was for able bodied people. They got lowered in and the attendant sat in the pool at the side of the client and massaged them or applied whatever water therapy treatment that was necessary.

    Karen and Steve...That was nothing, you should have seen the apparatuses in the massage rooms!

    Contessa...Very interesting town, wish we had more time to explore it.

    Malone...It would have been neat to have had a treatment done in the old time bath houses, maybe next time.

    where's weaver...We did take a couple of the trails into town but we would really would have liked to have had time to take the one up the mountain for the view.

    Brian...Plans change but the town will still be there so maybe you will get to see it next time you are through the area.

    Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey


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