Those of you who are familiar already know that Hot Springs, Arkansas is a charming tourist town. People from all over come and enjoy the laid back atmosphere... the Victorian architecture... the new influx of artists and galleries... but one problem we often have to deal with here is the traffic problems all of these tourists create. In the old town center, only one narrow four-lane road (Scenic Arkansas Highway 7) carries ALL the traffic in a North-South direction. This is due to the terrain limitations that lie on either side of the road. Steep mountainsides begin their upward thrusts just behind the cute streetfront buildings on the west side-the same on the east just behind the old bathhouse row, and the National Park property surrounds all of it.
So you have basically what looks like two big butt cheeks (mountains), with a narrow strip of land within the valley that contains all of the hotels, bathhouses, restaurants and shops, and one four lane road. Add tourists into the mix, and you've got one tremendous headache for getting around town. Unless one chooses to 'hoof it', of course. But this weekend, matters are extreme...
This weekend, Hot Springs is playing host to several annual events, that typically play-out on separate weekends. We have an annual classical Music Festival, the world championship Retriever (dog) competition, the Arkansas Bar Association annual meeting, and the H.O.G. rally (stands for Harley Owners Group)...ALL OF THEM CONVERGING on this town at once.
At this very moment, I could walk out my door on Quapaw Avenue, and within five blocks of walking, I would be downtown amongst nearly every lawyer in Arkansas, 25,000 brutally loud Harley Davidson bikes (and the men - mainly - that ride them), and classical musicians from all over the country. For some reason, I don't think I would see that many Golden Retrievers...but perhaps their owners, yes.
Actually, I just got back from downtown. And it is pure madness, I'm telling ya! And just wait until tonight when all of the attorneys and bikers get drunk. That will be a definite sight to see. But I urge you...if you do not already live in Hot Springs, stay out of town this weekend.
It's pure madness!