June 11 -Thurs - Out early to Black Bayou NWR. Walked along the trail and boardwalk that goes out over the bayou. Gorgeous. Some of the trails were closed because of flooding. We could see the results of labor cuts in this refuge and in others. Maintenance just isn’t keeping up. Spoke with their LE. He knows Kenny but we didn’t get his name. Crossed into AR about 1:00 and had lunch at JJ’s Barbecue in El Dorado. Made it to our room at the Econo Lodge in Hot Springs at 4:30. Late dinner at Angel’s Italian.
June 12 Fri - Explored Hot Springs and learned that the the purpose of NP is basically to maintain the quality of the water in the springs. Their visitor center is an old restored bathhouse in the center of town. The area has been under federal protection first as a reservation and then as a NP since 1817. It is an okay small city with lots to do. We drove to the top of the mountain and took the elevator to the top of the tower to see the whole area and then walked through their aquarium. After lunch at Rolando, we went back to the room and napped before the Maxwell Blade Magic Show and another late dinner at Rolando which was too much food especially that late at night.
June 13 Sat - Happy Birthday Roger - The Garvan Woodland Gardens was our first item of the day. We opted for the golf cart which worked out well since I had a blister from a bug bite on my toe and was having difficulty walking. It is a pretty place managed by the Arkansas University. Lunch was the leftovers from the night before. Our trip on the Belle of Hot Springs involved rushing in and out to get away from the rain. There was time for a rest before going to the Five Star Theater for a dinner and show to see The Taffetas.