Whizzed across a few state lines since I last wrote. We had a quick night out in Memphis. Visited here over 2 years ago near the start of our trip and did all the attractions but happenned across a wicked bar on Beale Street with the most increadible pulled pork BBQ sandwiches and since we were 'in the area' we had to go back!! Just as good as we remembered, and a good night (if rather wet) out in Memphis!
From there we crossed into Arkansas and our 38th state. And with a city name of 'Hot Springs' how could we resist?! It's also a National Park (And we like those!). This is actually a city park and the national park is there to preserve and protect the hot springs which flow around/through the town centre. In the late 1800's it became a popular spot for people to visit the therapeutic healing hot waters and by the turn of the century it was quite the place to come to 'take the waters'. Theres a whole row of grand old bath houses which the NPS are currently restoring. The visitor centre is in one of them - the Fordyce Bathhouse and you can tour around inside and see how it was in it's heyday - the changing rooms, bath hall, massage rooms, vapour rooms and even a funky old fashioned gym full of equipment! 3 doors down is the Buckstaff Baths and these are the only functioning baths. For $50 we had the 'full monty' bath - about 2 hours in total. Men & women bathe on separate floors. You take the elevator to your floor and get met by a locker room attendant, you takes your clothes and wraps you in a linen sheet toga-styel. You start with a 20 minute whirlpool bath. Your own private bath attendant scrubs you down with a loofah mitt then you sit back and relax. From there you have a 'sitz' bath - which is a small sit-in tub with extremely hot water which is good for lower back pains. Next is a vapour cabinet (weird thing - I had a head-out thing which felt very strange, Chris was in a more conventional steam room), then I laid on a bed and had hot packs positioned wherever I wanted them and sweated out for 20 minutes or so. Finally it was into the needle shower for a rinse off before settling down to a swedish massage. Pretty good stuff! Hot Springs town is quite small and surrounded by hills - we got in a couple of hikes before we felt we'd earnt the bath treatment! (we're aiming to complete 350 miles of hiking before we head home to the UK in 3.5 weeks time)
Now we've just crossed the state line into Texas. We're heading for Dallas where Chris has a track day on the bike next Tuesday.