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Mush & Alga's Adventure: Autumn in Arkansas 2010 - Hot Springs +
Driving back from Eureka Springs down scenic route 7 to Hot Springs and back to Austin, Texas

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Natchitoches, LA
Natchitoches, LA
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Last 14 posts for: Autumn in Arkansas 2010 - Hot Springs +

Arkadelphia & De Gray Lake, Arkansas, Natchitoches, LA, Sunday, September 02, 2012
DeGray Lake Resort State Park is Arkansas’s only resort state park.  It is a 13,800 acre lake located in the foothills of the Quachita Mountains.  The lake is known for it's clear water and offers fishing, water sports, golf, camping, reunions, weddings and retreats.  It has a large lodge that sits on a island that has convention and meeting facilities that can accommodate up to 300 people.  We drove through parts of the lake on a rainy day as we headed south from Hot Springs.  It looked like a relaxing place to go camping.  

After leaving the lake we drove through Arkadelphia, Arkansas.  There were many more Victorian homes and a funny barbeque sign.  We continued on Scenic 7 and headed south through Camden and El Dorado and on into Louisiana.

We are now in Natchitoches, Louisiana,  which is the oldest town in Louisiana established in 1714.  Downtown Natchitoches is adjacent to the thirty- three block National Landmark Historic District which includes around fifty 100 year old buildings.  It is a really beautiful area and the old homes have such great southern charm.  We took a few photos of the Northwestern State University which seems to be a large campus. The movie "Steel Magnolias" was filmed here.  The Cane River runs through the historic district.  They have  the Cane River National Heritage Area which is mostly rural with 45,000 acres consisting of historic plantations, like the 42 acre Oakland Plantation and the 18 acre Magnolia Plantation outbuildings. They are still working on the preservation.  This town exudes southern charm.

We left Natchitoches, and headed back to Austin, Texas.  We had a great trip, saw such beautiful autumn colors and got to experience parts of Arkansas for the first time (instead of driving through on the interstates).  Great way to spend a few days.

Natchitoches, LASunday, September 02, 2012

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We visited the National Historic Landmark District.

ArkadelphiaSunday, September 02, 2012

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Looking downriver from the old bridge.

De Gray LakeSunday, September 02, 2012

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Rainy fall day at the lake.

Hot Springs, Mountain Drives, Long Island Lake ResortSunday, September 02, 2012
Hot Springs is named after the 47 natural hot mineral springs that flow to the surface at 140 degrees. The Spanish explorers and Indians are among the first people to discover this treasure.  Bath House Row is a National Historic Landmark District full of history.  The National Park protects eight Historic Bath Houses built in the early 1900's.

We experienced one of these bath houses, the Buckstaff  Bath House which is the only remaining operational bath house within the Hot Springs National Park continuously in service since 1912.  Wow!  We arrived at the bath house ready to get relaxed, didn't even take the camera which is too bad cause it is picture worthy (look them up online).  All men go to the first floor and all women to the second floor. We put on robes, locked up our stuff and our spa experience began.  We did the "Traditional Bathing Package" for $55.00 which included a whirlpool mineral bath, loofa mitt rub by the assistant, a steam sauna and a full body massage that was surprisingly good.  We left relaxed and ready for a nap.  We will do this again when we return to Hot Springs.

We explored the historic section of the city which has lots of shops and old hotel including The Arlington Hotel & Spa which has a interesting history.  The first one opened in 1875, was razed and rebuilt and opened the second time around 1893....that one burned to the ground in 1923 and the original site of the hotel was turned into a park at the north end of Bath House (jinxed?).  The third and current version of the Arlington Hotel sits at the corner of Central Avenue and Fountain Street.  Some very determined people!

From the historic district we followed the signs to the Mountain Drives which overlook the city.  One lookout point has a small building with a viewing area,  the other lookout sits on top of  Hot Springs Mountain and has a 216 foot observation tower (costs to go up) with awesome views of Hot Springs and the Quachita Mountains.  We didn't go up the tower but it looked like fun.

During our visit to Hot Springs, we stayed at a small resort on Lake Hamilton called the Long Island Lake Resort.  It had great views, the large room was clean, had a kitchenette (I really did cook) and Alan loved feeding the Canadian geese.  We enjoyed our stay and the staff was very friendly and fun.  The resort is close to a shopping area, movie theater and close to downtown.  We really enjoyed our visit in Hot Springs.                              

Long Island Lake ResortSunday, September 02, 2012

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Quaint resort by Hamilton Lake.....small with a friendly staff.

Hot Springs Mountain Road DriveSunday, September 02, 2012

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Road leading up to the lookout.

Hot SpringsSunday, September 02, 2012

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Hot Springs Rehab Center formerly The Old Army Navy Hospital.....a huge building that sits in the historic section of town. We took the mountain drives....great views of the city.

Scenic 7 north of Hot SpringsSunday, September 02, 2012
We left Eureka Springs and headed east to Harrison where we turned south on Scenic 7 which runs south all the way to Louisiana.  It was a highly recommended route and lived up to the high praise.  It is called Scenic 7 for a reason!   We were driving the first week of November and as you can see we got to see some awesome color.  We went through the Buffalo River Canyon area, stopped at some camp sites to take photos of the rock bluffs and the river.  Very beautiful area.

We drove across some charming old bridges, through the colorful hills and stopped at two different lookout points.  One lookout has the highest elevation in the area (where you can see the ranch in the pics) and the other point looks out over the hills and valleys.  Both were stunningly beautiful.  We had a fun and relaxing trip through the hills of Arkansas as we headed to Hot Springs.

Scenic 7 north of Hot Springs 3Sunday, September 02, 2012

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We loved the charm of this old bridge.

Scenic 7 north of Hot Springs 2Sunday, September 02, 2012

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Autumn colors in Arkansas.

Scenic 7 north of Hot Springs 1Sunday, September 02, 2012

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Mush and Alga at a scenic overlook.

Buffalo River Canyon 2Sunday, September 02, 2012

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Notice the bridge and the autumn beauty of the Buffalo River.

Buffalo River Canyon 1Sunday, September 02, 2012

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The rocks and water melt into one.  So beautiful.

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