Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hiking and Bathing in Hot Springs !

Rachael and I got up early, but didn’t get out till about 10am. We are still getting a system down as to how to best get our packs ready quickly. We went to the park, but there is a city within Hot Springs National Park. We hiked some trails, but they were very “touristy” and not real hiking. We hiked/walked up to the observation tower but we didn’t go up, there was a fee for the view ! we hiked up a bit more and had our own view without the tower, for free ! There are a few Bath houses on the street they call “ Bath house Row”. We got to see the oldest /original bath house and the museum. It was called Fordyce Bath House, and it is now a museum and National Monument. After the hike, we went to Buckstaff Bath house. This is the oldest continually running bath house and they do the same type of procedures they did over 100 years ago. We didn’t really know what to expect, but the people coming out said it was incredible, so we booked our “bath”. It started out by disrobing and donning a toga type sheet. Then we each entered our own little room with a huge bath tub in it that had a whirlpool and the water from the hot springs. A bath attendant actually scrubbed me down! It felt great but I felt so spoiled ! The water was very hot, and I was left to soak for about 15 minutes. I didn’t know if I would be able to stand the heat that long, but after a while I relaxed. After that, I was toweled off and taken to the another room where I was given ice water and had hot packs placed on my shoulders and belly while an ice cold cloth was placed on my head and face. I relaxed there for about another 30 minutes. Following this, I sat in a sitz bath for my back and hips. I could only handle about 10 min of that and then it was time for the steam box. This is exactly what it sounds like, a box filled with steam with only one’s head sticking out ! I was too heated, I knew I couldn’t handle that so I opted for the next step, the needle shower. This is a shower with cool water which comes out of hundreds of little shower heads. It felt great. After the shower I dried off and lounged in my toga-sheet till it was time for my massage…. Oh, it felt heavenly! When we were done, (whole thing lasted about 2 hours) Rachael and I got dressed and headed to dinner. We were famished, which I’m told is a result of the hot water increasing our metabolism. After dinner we headed back to Cherie’s house and the three of us watched movies and ate popcorn… and laughed and laughed ! It was a great day !

Today’s pictures are at :

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