A chance reading of local attractions on a trip to the Hill Country of Texas led to our discovery of Hamilton Pool. Even with directions it was a challenge to find this gorgeous oasis in Travis County. The pool began as an underground cavern thousands of years ago. Eventually the dome collapsed leaving this U-shaped grotto. Of the three pools pictured here, this is my favourite.
Blue Springs near Eureka Springs, Arkansas was a side trip on our way home from South Padre Island, TX. If there were time, I would stop at every park, mill, cave, spring, trail, historic site, nature preserve, waterfall, etc. that was along my path. But then we would never get home.
Blue Springs was one of those lucky stops we did make. The area around this 54 degree natural spring is more developed than the other two. The plantings and walkways are lovely additions although I prefer the naturalness of Hamilton Pool. There is an interpretive center as well as an arboretum.
The Cherokee people knew this spring as a healing stop during their forced removal to Oklahoma Territory on the Trail of Tears. A few miles up the road, on the border between Gateway, AR and Seligman, MO is a small natural spring and pool on private land. I first saw this farm back in the 70's. I fell in love with the stone house, stone barn and spring. It was unmarked back then, but a sign at the spring now identifies it, also, as a stop on the Trail of Tears.
Now that I recognize a pattern, I believe I will begin plotting side trips to blue pools, holes and springs around the country; trying to discover as many as I can.