We have friends that have been on every State Highway east of the Mississippi and many west, they mark them off in an atlas, they also visit county courthouse which they keep track of as well. We have decided that when we retire we'll visit all the hot springs and keep track of those!
There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in a hot body of water outside. When we lived in Colorado we regularly soaked in the Glenwood Hot Springs pools. The best was on a very cold day with snow falling around us.
Michael often talks about how wonderful it must have been if you took the train from New York in the 1800s (can't have been that comfortable), to get off the train and soak in the hot springs.
When we went to the North West, wanting to visit the four corners of the US, having been to the other 3, we were headed through Olympic National Park on our way to the forth corner when we spotted Sol Duc Hot Springs Campground and RV Park so opted to go there and soak instead of visiting the corner of the country! It wasn't so great but still felt good to soak.
One day we'll make of list of all the ones we've been to. But to be relevant to this post, on our way home we saw the sign for Hot Springs, NC, so we turned left instead of right.
What a cute little town! We were able to see the springs, instead of having a public pool they have private hot tubs, outdoors with walls around 3 sides for privacy. The tubs are fed with their spring water which comes out of the ground at 102 degrees.
We didn't have time for a soak but will go back! We understand in the summer the place and whole area is packed. There is a lot of tubing on the river there too.
Then we drove to Bakersvile, were surprised that one of the little shops we always stopped at was empty, we've been going there for 20 years, maybe they retired?
Then off to see friends who used to have a gallery like ours in NY, and have since retired to NC. They converted an old Grey Hound Bus into an amazing RV, with paneling, tables, cupboard doors and more decorated with art by Sticks!
It was just beautiful. They are living on the side of a mountain way, away from civilization. After operating their gallery for 30 years they were ready to rest. They build a garage for the rv with a bathroom, small kitchen, bedroom, and living room, thinking it would be the guest house once they built their new home. They liked it so much that they scratched building the house and live in the garage (which looks like no garage we've ever seen!) and use the rv for the guest house.
Of course their home is full of beautiful, hand crafted items, just the kind of things we like.
After that we visited Grandfather Mountain, saw lots of waterfalls including one by Newland. We had never been to that town before and discovered it is the highest County Seat east of the Mississippi at 3600 feet elevation. That is less than half of the elevation of Aspen, the county seat we lived in in Colorado. Its elevation is 8000 and our house was at about 9000 feet.