Hot Springs, AK, is a little town that is, apparently, famous for hot springs. And as maybe the birthplace of Bill Clinton. Its advertising is a little uninspiring.

Vacation2018_HotSprings_28
You had me at “foliage.”

But we spent a night there on the way to our final destination.

And, like all cool little towns we stop by for only a short time, we decided we could retire here. It starts with just a good feeling about a place – and nothing to do with finally remembering what feeling relaxed feels like after weeks of deadlines and stress – and ends with looking up the prices of local houses. They were reasonable.

The primary appeal to me was this store:

Vacation2018_HotSprings_24Stella Mae’s: Out of the Ordinary

It reflected the dark parts of what I love back at me – the macabre, tattoo-parlour sensibility that I have but rarely indulge. I bought things there. I wanted to live there. Neither my wife nor the nice lady running the store seemed keen on the latter idea.

So we walked down the Main Street, taking photos and peering in shop windows as the sun went down; a battered old pickup truck, painted red, white, and blue, coughed and groaned by us. As a metaphor, it was a little too perfect for where we are as a country right now…the kind of thing you wouldn’t make up. But there it was. So, here I get to mention it.

On the morning of our departure, we took a side road and ended up a height, looking down at our new favorite little town.

Vacation2018_HotSprings_6

Not too shabby, Arkansas. We’ll be back.

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