Memphis, Hot Springs
From the Smokies we continued our journey west to Memphis, Tennessee. We arrived on a windy, clear night and pricelined a hotel downtown for $75. Craving a hearty meal after two nights in the woods, we powerwalked to Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous: World Famous Barbeque where polished off a highly-recommended and highly-enjoyed rack of BBQ ribs. The next morning we roamed the city for a few hours, taking in a corvette show on Beale Street, an African festival, and a windy walk along the Mississippi before jumping back in the car and splitting for Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Lake Ouachita, the largest lake in Arkansas, is surrounded by Ouachita National Forest and Lake Ouachita State Park — a clean and quiet park situated on the eastern side of the lake, featuring 103 campsites, including this hot little number:
After pitching our tent we drove 30 minutes into Hot Springs for dinner and a night at Oaklawn Casino. Hot Springs is a charming little mountain town, not unlike Asheville in beauty and feel, nestled among the tall trees and natural water springs of Hot Springs National Forest. Most prominent in the city is bathhouse row — a line of posh bathhouses that provide luxury spa services based around the highly-marketable mineral water pumped in from nearby hot springs. Jess treated us to a spring water bath at Quapaw Baths, a warm and satisfying break from the action that gave us time to reflect on the long road ahead.