Kathryn - We had finally made it to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. A place where we could canoe or kayak without fear of alligators or crocodiles lurking in the water. Our campsite was located at Alley Spring on the Jacks Fork River. We arranged for a local kayak outfitter to pick us up there on Friday and shuttle us upstream. Once there we would paddle back down to our campsite. The rain started Wednesday evening and didn't stop until Thursday evening. The ground felt saturated like a cookie fallen into a glass of milk. The kayak outfitter dropped by to let us know that the river would be too high to paddle as planned, (Windy's Canoe Rental, Eminene MO). That evening we went to bed planning to hike some of the nearby trails the next day. This is what happened next.
Narnia - I have always wanted to be a photographer so I have been helping Catherine with some of the photos for the blog. These ladies don't slow down for a minute, they are running me off my paws! Shoot this, shoot that... it is exhausting. I just need a little cat nap.
I really LOVE my camera.
Catherine - Kathryn and I have stayed in a lot of National, State and Municipal parks. All are unique. All have something to offer and Hot Springs National Park did not disappoint!
The town was a blast. Not only did we get to stay at a beautiful campground (Gulpa Gorge) on the river, which was connected to the town by a 1.4 mile trail but we were able to enjoy two working spas. Buckstaff, https://www.buckstaffbaths.com the one we are featuring, uses the original equipment from 1915. The Quapaw Spa http://quapawbaths.com is a modern spa with 4 hot pools at varying temperatures.
One of the fun parts of travelling is experiencing the unknown and with the Buckstaff Baths we definitely had a new experience.
The entire process takes about an hour and 15 minutes. You arrive, a woman takes you to the change room, has you remove your clothes and put them in a locker and then she wraps you in a sheet.
You get called by your spa attendant who takes you to a very deep bathtub with what looks like, and was about as peaceful as, a turned on outboard motor at one end. She tosses you in the tub, scrubs you a bit with a loofah mitt and leaves you to soak for about 20 minutes.
Once you have pruned up and soften up she takes you to a long table and wraps you in boiling hot towels. It’s a good pain that pushes deep in to your muscles. Luckily you do get a cold towel for your face. After sweating away while laying down you and your now wet sheet are now collected and taken to the steam box that looks like it came from The Pit and The Pendulum. You then sit and sweat some more, because lying down and sweating wasn’t enough.
Then your attendant rescues you from your box, holds up your towel and has you sit in a low little bathtub that only fits your bottom. This is the sitz bath and it felt really great.
For those of you who have given birth, remember the stage where you don’t care anymore that half the hospital has seen your private parts. After the sitz bath that was pretty much where I was at. My attendant then took me to a shower that had at least 16 sprayers. That was lovely.
After the shower both Kathryn and I opted for a quick 20 minute massage making our experience about 2 hours long.
We then walked to the end of the bathhouses for a beer at the Superior Bathhouse brewery http://www.superiorbathhouse.com where the beer is brewed with the local water.
Having a town that is also a National Park is very unique. https://www.nps.gov/hosp/index.htm and I would recommend that you check it out if you are in the neighbourhood.
We smell much better now :-)