It had been thousands of miles, a dozen towns and 2 oceans since our last bath.
Living on the road means showers only, and often it’s just the stream of water from our kettle. This means a chance at full immersion is worth a stop and a write-up.
Hot Springs, Arkansas is no ordinary place to take a bath, here they are the reason people visit. From the name, you don’t have to guess that it is home to natural hot springs, and they are so abundant that there was cause for them to become a national park. When the area was acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase, interest in the springs rose and it quickly became known as a place for healing. Over a million people visited the springs each year and in 1921 it became our nation’s 18th national park. Several bathhouses were constructed along “bathhouse row” and gave rise to glorified bathing in beautiful environments, with decorated tiles and marble floors.
Community bathing went out of fashion for a short time, and as such the park lost its steam. Good news for us, community bathing is back and the park has been brought back to life.
We visited the Quawpaw bathhouse and had not one but 4 baths, all at varying spice degrees. They recommend an order of stepping in and out for maximum relaxation. It was not exactly the bath I dream about since were no candles, glasses of wine and nudity is forbidden, shucks all around. But it was luxurious just the same. Gazing into strangers’ eyes across the large baths, while you whisper, “this is so nice,” to your partner is absolute heaven. There are many other services offered that we were too poor for, but our $20 experience was worth it. As Matt would say, “it was everything we could soap for.”