The drive from Austin to Hot Springs started with a bit of drama: as we prepared to hook the Airstream to the truck at Pecan Grove, we discovered we were missing one of our weight distribution bar clips–a small but important piece that secures each anti-sway bar reaching back from the hitch to the trailer. Oops.
We rigged up a very precarious solution involving a screwdriver and slowly drove a mile down to the closest service station. The gloriously helpful people there put together a wild contraption made of a giant bolt and nuts they had laying around the shop, and it got us the rest of the way home to VA.
Gulpha Gorge Campground in Hot Springs National Park was a delightful surprise! The sites are shady, have full hook-ups, and front a lovely creek. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to explore the National Park (HSNP has 26 miles of hiking trails), other than strolling the promenade along the architecturally stunning Bathhouse Row.
Eating and Drinking
Beer: Superior Bathhouse Brewery
Of course we had beer at Superior Bathhouse, the first (only?) brewery in a US National Park and the first (only?) brewery in the world to use water from hot springs as the beer’s main ingredient. J’s IPA was tasty, my basil honey kolsch interesting, and we had a front-row view of the holiday light display in the center of town. (I told you I was way behind writing these posts.) Superior Bathhouse is dog-friendly, and we thought the beers were much improved since our first visit three years ago.
Dinner: The Avenue
The Avenue is new since we were last in Hot Springs, a posh welcome addition to a town full of staid old-school restaurants. We figured on at least an evening cocktail there and the local food-focused menu kept us for dinner. The flavor combinations were creative and the food was beautifully presented (although I realize the above photo of my Brussels sprouts might not be described as “beautiful”). Nice job, Hot Springs!