Archive for May, 2014

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Hot Springs NP, Padre Island NS, and Palo Alto NHP

May 30, 2014

May 19, 2014 – Left Springfield the Monday after Wittenberg’s graduation for our trip to TX.  Made a brief stop in Cairo Illinois, the southernmost tip of Illinois, where the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers meet.

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The Tri-state point IL-KY-MO is also located in the water off this point.  We arrived in Hot Springs Arkansas after a 12 hour drive and stayed downtown in the Springs Hotel & Spa.

May 20, 2014 – Started the day with a hike to the top of Hot Springs Mountain (1 mile roundtrip)

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Observation Tower on top

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View from Mountain Tower

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We then visited Bath House Row

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Quapaw Bath House

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Fordyce Bath House – National Park Visitors Center

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Undress – Wrap in Towel

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Beautiful Stain Glass Ceiling of Changing Room

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Tub for disabled individual (e.g. FDR)

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Steam Cabinets

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Bath Routine: Tub on right for 20 minute soak in 105 degree mineral springs water, followed by attendant rubbing you down with a luffa bath mitt, then a Sitz bath sitting in 110 degree water (center right), then a steam cabinet for 5 minutes (left foreground), then hot packs for specific joints (table right) and finally a pinpoint shower from all directions.

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Pre-Post Activities in Gymnasium

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After the visitors center, we went to the Buckstaff Baths and did the traditional Bath Routine!

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Hot Springs Fountain

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Yes, we’re from OHIO

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May 21, 2014 – President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site in Hope Arkansas.  This was actually his grandparents home where he lived until four years old.

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 May 22, 2014 – Katy, TX – Chad’s Birthday.  It started with a call from Kate who was in China!

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May 23-26, 2014 – Padre Island National Seashore TX.  We stayed in Corpus Christi and drove to Malaquite Beach each morning.

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View from Malaquite Visitors Center

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We were there early and able to get a shelter each day

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Fun Beach Activities

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If conditions permit, you can 4 wheel drive to Mile Post 60.  I only went as far as Mile Post 5.  Don’t get stuck!

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Seasonal Seaweed was washed up 10-30 feet deep on beach

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I took one morning to drive to and tour Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park just north of Brownsville TX

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This was the first battle of the Mexican-American War, May 8, 1846

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The Republic of Texas had severed ties with Mexico in 1836 (Alamo, etc.).  In 1845 President Polk moved to annex Texas as the 28th state with a southern boundary of the Rio Grande River.  Many Mexicans believed Texas was still a part of Mexico and the Mexican government opposed the annexation.  Polk sent General Zachary Taylor and a 4,000 man army to Texas to secure the border.  The President of Mexico sent General Arista to the Rio Grande to oppose Taylor.  Arista with 3,200 troops attacked Taylor who had positioned 2,300 U.S. troops on the plains of Palo Alto.  After this battle and the battle of Resaca de la Palma, the Mexicans were driven back across the Rio Grande River.  The War continued for two years until an American army landed at Vera Cruz and took Mexico City.  The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) established the Rio Grande as the boundary with Texas and also resulted in Mexico selling the New Mexico and California territories.  This amounted to a huge expansion of the U.S. to the Rio Grande River and Pacific Ocean.

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On the way back to Corpus Christi I stopped in Point Isabel and South Padre Island

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