Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cypress & Houston, TX & Hot Springs, AR 10/26 - 29/2013

On the road again Saturday Oct. 26.  Happy birthday, Kerry, Phil's sister.  Best wishes for many more.
 We visited the Houston Botanical Garden with Yvonne and Gene.
Strawberry Bush (in the Bittersweet Family)
Lilies…forgot the name.

Seeds of a Sago palm

 Chinese Windmill Palm

 Cardboard Palm
 Blooms are fuzzy, gorgeous.

 Interesting single stalk pine tree.
Rudy's BBQ is famous in Texas.
As we placed our order we could see them cutting the brisket into serving portions.

On the road again Sunday Oct. 27
We attended Mass again at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.  

It was rainy so the four of us went to the movie, Gravity.  We enjoyed it 
and thought it was a good follow up to our visit to NASA.

On the road again Monday Oct. 28 to Hot Springs, AK National Campground.

On the road again Tuesday Oct. 29 up Hot Springs Mountain Drive.

It was so foggy that we didn't go up the Tower.  Couldn't see much of the land below.
Hot Springs National Park has a long and colorful history, beginning long before its designation as 
Hot Springs Reservation in 1832. American Indians came here for thousands of years 
to quarry novaculite for their tools and weapons. 

 We watched a very informative video about the history of the Park.

Soon a bustling town grew up around the hot springs to provide services for health seekers. 
The bathing industry led to Hot Springs becoming known as the "American Spa."
 The Ranger gave us a tour of the Fordyce Bathhouse.
 Stunning architecture.
This ceramic fountain in the Fordyce lobby had spring water flowing from the spout at one time.
 Ladies' bath hall.
The hot spring water comes out at 143 degrees F but is cooled to 100 degrees for the baths.
Steam chamber

It's unusual for a National Park to be within a city.  But visitors in the 1800's needed rooms 
to stay at and the town grew around the Park.

 We filled some jugs with mineral water.
Promenade where clients could walk after their treatment.  A doctor's prescription was required for some medical services which were provided.  Although baths could be taken without the advice of a physician this practice was not recommended. It was advised that baths only be taken for diseases which they could improve along with the proper drugs for the condition. 

 Hot Springs was the first collective destination spot for baseball spring training. From 1886 through the early 1940s, the Spa City attracted most of the game’s best teams and brightest stars.  

The purpose was to get the players in shape by soaking in the spas, hiking the mountains and playing baseball in the more moderate climate. Spring training was born.

A baseball school was started in Feb. 15, 1933. During the school’s tenure, instructors included Arkansas native sons Dizzy and Paul Dean.  

My Dad, a young farmer in Wisconsin, saved his money and took the train to Hot Springs to attend this school.  His parents drove "down" to pick him up when the school was completed.  Dad played local teams' baseball for decades.  

It was so neat to visit where Dad had experienced one of his dreams.

When we stopped for fuel a couple came to us and wanted to know how we like our Roadtrek.  We gave them a tour and a brochure and of course said we LOVE it.  They want to downsize from their big rig.

We stayed overnight at Little Rock RV Park and Pavilion.  

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