Hot Springs is a neat town. Population around 35,000 and a pretty good arts community – in no small part due to the involvement of my friends who helped found the KUHS 97.9 FM community radio station, a community arts center and gardens, among other things.
I got my camper popped up in their driveway and we set out for a hike. The national park is interlaced with the town proper, so it both runs through town in some parts and borders it in others. There are a lot of really good hiking trails, including the one we took which was pretty much straight uphill for a mile.
Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera, so all my photos from this lovely foggy hike are from my cell phone.
Their dog, Wrigley, and Argos made fast friends.
We climbed up to a tree where each New Year my friends put mementos.
I left my die in a crook of branch and wished for a good 2017. It seemed appropriate to leave the prognosticator of my travels as a token.
We had a leisurely walk back down the trail in the foggy afternoon.
One of the unique things about this town is the abundance of spring water. There are sites set up around town where people come fill their drinking water jugs with this delicious and clean waters.
Each location has a sign posted with the specific composition of that spring and the city regularly tests the water, especially after a heavy rain to make sure the spring water doesn’t have any run-off mixed in.
January 2, 2017
Argos’ official “adoptaversary” is January 2nd. I had it as the 1st because I had originally gone to the shelter on Jan 1st last year, only to find it closed. On January 2nd, I met Argos and found a new companion. I love this doggie and am so lucky!
After a thunder-stormy night and morning, the sky is finally clearing up and I can see blue. With the rainy, we decided to binge-watch the Netflix show “The OA” last night… and this morning. We’ll finish up the 8-episode series this evening. My friends are out with their daughters right now doing some school shopping and I’m at their artful and cozy home working on getting this blog caught up. Later, we’ll go bathe at the ‘bath house’. There aren’t any free and open springs in which to lounge, only inside a couple of bath houses in town.
It never ceases to amaze me how welcoming and open my friends are, and moreso with friends I haven’t seen in 20+ years. We hug, get caught up, and then it’s as if no time has passed and we enjoy each other’s company as we did all those years ago. I continue to be thrilled by the lives so many of my friends have built for themselves over the years. I worried that I’d feel like an interloper, or an interruption, on these often short-notice no destination meanderings, but instead I’ve been welcomed with open arms by both new friends and old.
As I was driving the other day, I caught a Ted Talk about “Happiness” with Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. It was really good and you can listen to it here: https://www.ted.com/talks/david_steindl_rast_want_to_be_happy_be_grateful
While I was listening, I came up with my own little mantra to try for this new year. This is about as far as I get with the idea of “New Years Resolutions”. I am not fond of the pressure, instead try to work on ways to better myself throughout the year. However, this one I might make a sticker and put it on my dashboard.
I’m going to work on this for my no destination trip. One of the reasons am ‘no destination’ is because of the urgency I tend to put on myself when I have a destination. I locate there, and have difficulty enjoying where I am currently. Pause. Breathe. Consider.
If anything, this trip has taught me so far is that my lifetime up until now of my many different paths, locations, schools, professions, and social groups has enriched me in ways I couldn’t imagine while I was living those various chapters. The people that I’ve loved, cried with, had late night talks, or simply chatted on a like-minded forum, all have varied and interesting lives and I am honored be invited into their homes and hearts as I continue to learn about the amazing multifariousness of life.