Mid-trip Update, Hot Springs

We’re currently in Fort Worth, Texas enjoying an unseasonably cool spring. Oh well, variable weather is always something to consider on a spring road trip, like when we encountered a blizzard at the Grand Canyon last spring. We’ve packed giant bags with clothes for any weather, but that’s another benefit of the road trip: unlimited (within reason) luggage space.
There have been a few adjustments to our proposed route since we last updated. A fellow blogger and national park aficionado alerted us to the existence of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Oklahoma, so we’re detouring for some nature and hiking today en route to Wichita, Kansas.
Upon entering Hot Springs National Park on Friday, we marked our 18th national park together. We checked out Bathhouse Row and the grand promenade. The main visitors center is closed for renovations through this fall, but there’s still plenty to see. Friday afternoon we hiked 3.5 miles around the park. The visibility was low, so we didn’t get the usual expansive views of the Ouachita Mountains, but it was still a nice walk and we didn’t pass a single other hiker on the trails. On Saturday morning we joined the tradition of “taking to the waters” at Buckstaff Bathhouse, the only bathhouse that has been in continuous operation since its construction in 1912. The experience was very authentic, best described as physically relaxing, but mentally nerve wracking. Those accustomed to modern spa treatments or not fans of public nudity will be better suited to the Quapaw Baths, which offers large soaking pools and private bathing areas.
We’re just heading out of Fort Worth, so we’ll cover our time in the city of cowboys and culture in another post. Stay tuned for some kicks.

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