Dear Family and Friends,
Today is Monday Oct. 9th. Sunday we left Birmingham and started our long and winding ride west back to California, but not directly. Last night we stayed at a cheap hotel long the highway. Nothing special at all.
Today I let Brian plan the day. We left early and headed towards Little Rock, Arkansas. It was not a pleasant ride, mostly freeway and gusts of wind. Riding around a big city like Little Rock on freeways is hardly relaxing riding.. I was beginning to wonder what he had planed. By noon we were off the freeway and riding through the country side and stopped to see Hot Springs, Arkansas. What a great surprise! Probably the nicest town we have visited so far. Downtown has an old, classic southern look, with interesting architecture and a very interesting history.
It is basically a tourist town so it has a lot to offer. Beautiful classic Victorian era spas featuring hot spring bathing, shopping, live music, live theater and lots of events going on. We just missed the annual Hot Springs Arts & Crafts Festival but the Hot Springs International Documentary Film Festival was just starting. I would have like to stayed for that.
Hot Springs is a very old town. It became renowned for its hot springs in the mid 1800s. In those days they were very modest. Then in the early 20th century they started building very elegant classic buildings that housed the hot spring spas, hotels, dinning, and more.
The story goes in the 1920 when professional baseball was taking off the players would come there just before the season started to detox. Evidently in that era baseball players were quite heavy drinkers and bathing in hot springs was believed to cleanse them of the “poison”. I am just repeating what the plaques on the spas said.
Then in the 1930s the spas became quote popular with gangsters! There are lots of references, photos, and memorabilia of Al Capone’s visits there.
After a couple hour walk around and a good lunch we took off. We rode Highway 7 for a couple of hours to tonights stay in Russellville. I have to say that ride was about as close to perfect motorcycling as it comes. Good weather, great roads twisting through lush green rolling hills.
All good. Tomorrow it is off to some new adventures.