Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Geothermal Experience

We spent the night of 2014-03-22 at the Springs Hotel in Hot Springs, AR, on our way home from Fort Worth, TX. This was my younger daughter's spring break college tour (Central Methodist Univ., Univ. of Tulsa, TCU). Drove all day from Fort Worth and had a half hour before the NPS visitor center at the former Fordyce Bathhouse closed, then walked south on the promenade along the hillside above and behind the bathhouses after stopping at the restored open spring on the way up. I washed my hands and face in hot water coming out of a rock there before we even checked in.
The next morning, after about an inch of rain the night before, we found hot water overflowing a storm drain up the hill behind the bathhouses, down the hill from the 43 capped springs, the NPS sources for the potable hot water fixtures. Vapor was rising from a storm drain at the bottom near the Hot Water Cascades, where hot water runs out of the bottom of the hill into descending pools, then into the sewer, and I washed my hands and face at the top pool. After we checked out, I filled my water bottle at a hot spring public drinking fountain and quaffed the elixir while driving home, instead of while strolling down Central.