so we were low on water and FindaSpring really wasn’t giving us a whole lot of good options. i asked everyone at work if there was any “drinking springs” that they knew of. everyone swore that all the springs were fucked. there’s a ton of springs in town but all but one is bricked off so you can’t get to the water. they are not playing around here about the water not being drinkable.

2 ladies told me that hot springs, arkansas has springs that people drink from. we drove 4 hours south late in the day to make a very last minute trip.  the drive there was mostly through the forest. hot springs is surrounded by a natural forest. when we got to the city (population of 30,000) it was dark out. we were panicked about finding the springs. with the online map as our guide we drove though downtown  passed the crowds of black folks & the loud southern rap music. damn, it’s like we’re in a real city again. we circled the side street and went back into downtown. “is that it?” i pointed towards to sidewalk right in downtown. we parked and crossed the street. by the time we got there there was a tall ethinic woman, cigarette in mouth and cell phone between her shoulder and ear filling up a 5 gallon bottle with her car parked in the loading lane. with multiple spouts i felt the water, fucking hot! i walked off and mark asked her if she knew where a cold spring was. she pointed towards where we parked our car.

mountain valley spring water at it’s source

we walk back to the parking lot that is right off the main strip. the parking lot is full of more black folks talking outside of their cars. there was another spring a few parking spots over from where we parked. we walked over, felt the water, another hot spring. a car pulls up and a gay black guy gets out with who i presume was his mother with jugs in hand. i ask if they know where the cold spring was. he was sweet and sorry that he couldn’t help because he was new to town. fuck it. it’s late, hot spring water it is. we pull the car next to the spring in the heart of downtown and filled up our bottles. amazing!

parked next to spring with all of our bottles

i was so blown away by spring water being right there for people to fill up for free. there’s signs next to the springs showing what the tested water has in it, including the radioactive particles from the radon gas. “well within safe” said the website. the water tasted softer than i remember Mountain Valley Spring water tasting. the sign said the water was cooled from 140 degrees to between 90-100 but i thought it felt hotter.

hot springs, AR is awesome. it’s also gangster. “a favored retreat for Al Capone”. good enough for Al, good enough for me.

i love hot springs.