After being caught in the rain for four days, Evan and I were happy to drop anchor for the night at Gulpha Gorge Campgrounds in Hot Springs National Park, where we tried to dry out. We wanted to spend the night looking at stars and sitting by a campfire but the low temps and rain kept us indoors, so we made the most of it by making some tea and watching They Live. I still can’t believe Evan hadn’t seen it before, but there’s a first time for everything and we all make mistakes in life. Staying at Gulpha Gorge was not one of ours, though, and we enjoyed a morning walking around the park even though the trails were impassible due to all the rain that had flooded the creek.
We made coffee and headed into Hot Springs, Arkansas to take a soak at one of the many bath houses. We chose Quapaw Bath House because it was inexpensive, and it was a trip. It had the feeling of a Roman bath house, and everyone except for one couple was probably about 80 years old or older. The one younger couple turned out to be from Pittsburgh, of all places, and own the burrito place where Evan and my good friend works. Small world.
All around Hot Springs there were water fountains and bubblers, and people filling jugs at each of them. I’m talking wheel barrows, trunk loads, truck beds full of jugs. “This water will make you live until you’re 120,” a friend of mine was told when she passed through Hot Springs this past summer, which explains why everyone in the town was elderly and why I got the sense that everyone at the spa was actually much older than 80. Evan and I need all the luck and good health we can come across, so we filled our own jugs, and Major Tom’s too, before heading on down the road.