Can’t Wait To Be HOT in Hot Springs!

This weekend is the upcoming debut of my two photos in the WinterTide exhibit at the Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs! I’m not sure which I am more excited about – the exhibit of my photos or the pancakes and bathhouse treatment! Followed closely by taking more photos of the springs!

So if you haven’t been to Hot Springs or haven’t read one of my posts, like the Quick Weekend in Hot Springs, then here is a little info for you.

Part of the city of Hot Springs is actually the Hot Springs National Park. Hot Springs and the area called Bathhouse Row have a rich history. I have commented to my Hubby that when we stay down on Central Avenue at the Arlington Hotel I feel as if I am walking, sitting, moving about in another era. One evening, I remember, sitting on the wide front veranda (or porch) of the hotel and drinking a nice rum punch recommended by the waitress and it felt as if I were there with my short flapper dress and he in his Al Capone hat and suit. We watched the people go by and the horse-drawn carriage as it made its rounds on Central Ave.

Ok, back to the topic I really wanted to share. If you go to Hot Springs you MUST go to the Buckstaff Bathhouse! Well, maybe first you should go to the visitor center at the Fordyce Bathhouse and tour it to get a wonderful idea of how the bathhouses looked and operated. Walking around even with a crowd surrounding you it was truly a feeling of stepping back in time. I could almost see the ladies wrapped in their towels gossiping and laughing with perhaps a shy lady at the end reading a book or magazine.

So here is where I get to the being HOT in Hot Springs! Imagine (from the point of a female) – being taken to your own floor separate from the men. You are wrapped in a sheet (down to your naked self  or swimsuit if you are really shy) and led to a steaming hot bath that is larger than most people’s’ tubs. The water is from a true hot mineral spring. There is a little motor at the foot of the tub. An attendant is there to make sure you are happy and relaxing. She loofahs your back. You relax in the steamy water. Then as you finish your time in the tub the attendant comes back and wraps you in the towel. From there you go to a sitz bath. You submerge your hinny in a hot bath just long enough to be healthy – after all the waters were healing! Then on to the enclosed steam bath – just the window open for the “fresh” air. And after that, off to the table where you are wrapped head to toe in warm, relaxing towels. Then off to your shower where hot jets stimulate your skin. Last, but not least, the Swedish massage. Heaven, I tell you!

So here are some photos from the Fordyce that give you a little bit of an idea of the experience. Of course, I didn’t take photos inside the Buckstaff in respecting the privacy of the other bathers.

sitz and steam bath thermal bath tub jet spray steam bath and electric steam bath sitz bath stained glass in Fordyce mens' room part of Fordyce mens room

Nature In Travel Art Group

Recently, the Nature in Travel Art Group held a contest and I wanted to share with you the winners. There were a lot of fabulous photos from all over the world so you might even check it out here.

First place went to Brian Harig with Wind Blown Tree.

© Brian Harig

Brian Harig is a travel photographer based in Huntsville, Texas. He travels throughout the world and has the opportunity to capture a host of beautiful images from all parts of the globe. Brian’s photographic ability, passion, creativity and attention to detail make his images very desirable for the collector and the home decorator alike. Brian is interested in photographing a number of different subjects and has compiled an impressive collection of award-winning images for you to choose from.

 

 

 

Second place went to Keith Ducker of Baywest Imaging with High Sierra Reflections.

© Keith Ducker

Keith showed a passion for photography 40 years ago. His once black and white film strips have now been transformed into digital images. A landscape contractor by trade, Keith is drawn to photographing nature’s landscapes. He mix’s his passion for hiking and traveling with his photography, and his dream to share his work with others is now underway.

 

 

 

 

Third place went to Christine Till with Death Valley’s Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

© Christine Till

Christine’s photography covers a wide range of subjects such as fine art, still life, black and white, infrared, portrait, animal, architecture, landscape, national and international travel and corporate (commercial) images.

 

A quick weekend in Hot Spring National Park

The first weekend of March my husband and I (and our dog Cedar) made a quick weekend trip to Hot Springs National Park (aka Hot Springs, AR). One of my photos was in a regional competition and the announcement of the winners came on that Friday evening. So we made a weekend of it!

Upon arrival we found out that the Sunbelt conference championships were being held at the arena next door to our hotel. At first I was a bit concerned with all the activities going on but it really added to the weekend! That Friday night after attending the “shindig” we roamed the streets a bit. Outside they were holding what I would refer to as a pep rally for all the teams in the competition. All the bands were there to play their tunes. 

Univ. of North Texas mascot

The mascots were running around the audience and the fans were having a great time. The finale was all of the bands coming together to play the final tunes.The mascots were running around in the audience. Enthusiastic fans were clapping and yelling.

enthusiastic fan

  

Saturday morning we headed out with Cedar to walk around Bathhouse Row. We walked along Central Ave (which is where Bathhouse Row is located) and even stopped in a store that welcomed Cedar with dog treats. We stopped to test the water in fountain near the park office.

 

 

 

Then we moved on to the Grand Promenade above Bathhouse Row. This is a path that takes you behind Bathhouse Row to where the springs run underground. One of the sites was a cool little alcove where two benches sat around a concrete table with checker boards. A nice sunny day would make for a perfect checker game!

 

 

Just above the Grand Promenade stands a huge building that was once the home to the Army Navy hospital. The building is now home to the Hot Springs Rehabilitation Center/Arkansas Career Training Institute. You can read more on the history by clicking here! As we strolled the promenade we came upon big green concrete and steel covers. These are the covers to the 47 hot springs in the park. They have been covered to keep the water clean.

 

 

 

Next we stopped at one of the ends of the promenade on Central Ave. Here we saw a wonderful hot spring pool from a spring – it looked almost like a waterfall! I captured some wonderful shots here – look for them coming up on FR& A! Cedar and Shannon also took time to check out the temp of the pool here to compare it to the fountain we stopped at earlier.

 

 

We made our way down bathhouse row on the bathhouse side. We stopped at all the landmarks and signs telling the history of Hot Springs and each of the bathhouses. Only three are operational today – Buckstaff, Quapaw and the Arlington Hotel. One of the bathhouse is now a visitor center. We stopped in to see the bathhouse. It was like stepping back in time! Some of the bathing equipment seemed quite ordinary, such as the large ceramic whirlpool baths. Some of the equipment almost seemed scary – the needle shower was a bit intimidating! And the steam cabinets I don’t think my claustrophobic self cares much for them! (In the photo the cabinet to the right actually had lightbulbs in it and would fill with water – can you say shocking??) Another beauty was found in the visitor center – the stained glass over the main room of the men’s bathing area.

 

 

Now for a few facts (click here for more history– It has a document that has tons of info on each of the bathhouses, too.) The park has 47 hot springs which contain 1300 pounds of mineral each day. The water of the open springs sits at a temperature of about 134 degrees Farenheit. It is the oldest national park in the National Park Service. It became a part of the US territories as a part of the Louisiana Purchase.

 

A version of pioneer woman – Imogen Cunningham

I was halfway watching a show on TV – I don’t even know the name, as that was how much I was watching it. The name and a work of Imogen Cunningham come up and it caught my attention. So instead of continuing to watch the show I immediately went to researching her. She apparently was an early – meaning 1906 was her first photo “released” – a nude of herself. Can you imagine? An artist releasing a nude photo of herself with a mail order camera. I am wondering how she got it to do a delayed photo…

Imogen Cunningham self portrait 1906 (courtesy DPTips Central)

Apparently she went on to take the photography world by storm – being the first female photographer of prominence in the field. She is associated with names such as Ansel Adams  (one of my fav photographers ever!) and Edward Westin. Her early photos were primarily portraits and she even did work as a photographer for Vanity Fair. Her later work was much more targeted to nature. Most of her works that I have found are black and  white.

As I see it, after about 15 minutes of research, she seems to be a woman ahead of her time. Her nudes, involvement in the arts in general and her high-profile position in photography make her impressive. I can’t imagine a woman photographer with a portfolio of nude portraits being easily, if at all, accepted in society today.

What an inspiration!

Imogen Cunningham Magnolia Blossom Tower of Jewels 1925 (courtesy of DPTips Central)

 

More on Imogen:

on Wikipedia

Digital photography tips central

 

 

Chevrolet 4400 1954 model in a pasture

Today, while driving around thru rural AR (Gentry) my hubby spotted this old house, barn and a gem of a truck. Of course, I LOOOOVVE old stuff. The history and the stories that live in them….!!!! So after looking over the pictures and doing some research I found out that it appears to be a 1954 Chevrolet 4400 flatbed truck. (here is a link to a restored model – courtesy of Wikipedia)  To add more to the story, there is a knob that reads “MUNCIE”. Come to find out this is a power take off more than likely added to it for driving machinery not on the truck – typically on tractors (another link to Wikipedia telling you about power take offs).

So enjoy a little bit of history and mystery!!