"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Monday, May 13, 2019

A Short Visit in a Very Cute Town - Hot Springs, SD

Hot Springs, South Dakota
Wind Cave National Park

Hot Springs is just one of those cute towns that you end up in where you just Ooo and Ahhh as you drive through it.  When we met Jim and Barb here for dinner after we first arrived we knew we wanted to come back through it so we stayed an extra day to explore.
The first thing you notice is the grand Evans Hotel built in 1891 from local pink sandstone quarried just 4 miles from town. It is now used as apartments.

This quaint town is lined with buildings with colors of pink, tan and white sandstone of similar style.  Across the street is the Fall River which runs the length of the historic downtown.  Parks and walking trails line the other side of the river.  This town is known for it's hot springs and their curative elements.
While Steve was working, Hurley and I walked along the trail.
At the gazebo there is a constant running fountain from the springs.  While we sat here we watched several people walk up and fill jugs with the spring water.  It's hard to read but the water contains sodium, potassium and magnesium chloride, lithium and calcium sulfate, calcium phosphate and some silica.  People call it the fountain of youth.
There is an area for pets to drink before it drops down into the river.  Hurley and I both had a sip but we didn't feel any younger :-)  Guess I should've brought a jug!
Along the trail there is a spot where a small waterfall drops down the hillside, under a bridge and into the river.  It stained the walls with different colors from the minerals.  The mosses themselves were also colorful.

The trail was fairly quiet.  Just a couple joggers, mom's with strollers and a few on their lunch break.  You can tell it's a very popular part of town.
Then you arrive at the town park with gazebos and picnic areas.  The trees were just starting to leaf out and others were blooming.

Once Steve was finished working we walked through the town and strolled in and out of the various businesses.  Some still weren't open for the season.
We had lunch at this place on the corner which made a delicious Green Chili burger that we split.
Up above is the Black Hills Healthcare System run by the Department of Veteran Affairs.  There is some really cool stuff up there but we'll drive up after finishing browsing the shops.  More on this later.
Plenty of colorful murals throughout town too.
If we had more time we'd stop in and watch a movie at the old theater.  We really like to do this and see all the old furnishings.  Usually these are independently owned and run by a local family.

This quilt shop made me think of our friend Sue who loves to quilt.  Unfortunately it was closed.

Steve loves a good antique store so we visited Pistol Patti's.  So much interesting local items and of course Patti herself was interesting to talk to.  They also had a chocolate section to the shop so we picked out a few tasty morsels to munch on while we continued our walk.
Darn, both the coffee shop and the ice cream parlor were closed too.
In 1890 veterans and politicians wanted a home for disabled soldiers.  Funding was authorized and work began in 1903.  The building is just gorgeous!  It's now a registered landmark.  Battle Mountain Sanitarium was for short term care.  There is also a cemetery here.

The architecture is beautiful.  I wish we could've gone inside. Not sure if they ever give tours.

We were intrigued by the fact that all 1500 burials are veterans or dependents except 2, which were civilians that died on site.  It says those two are buried facing a different direction.  There is also one Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient buried here.  We wanted to find those 3 graves.  We walked in and out of the perfectly maintained grounds looking.
They are laid out in different patterns.  I'm sure there may be a reason for this.  I wish there was someone around we could ask.  We did find all 3 eventually.

Medal of Honor recipient.
We rested in the shade and admired the grounds.  This one sits up high on a hill and overlooks the town.  I just love cemeteries.  So much history here.
The sun was at the exact angle to make the shadows line up and seem to connect the headstones.
There was a big beautiful green house surrounded by lawns, trees and blossoming bushes.
 Again, I wish there was a sign or something to tell you about the buildings.
We did come across a promising looking museum but it too was closed until the next weekend.  There is another important site located in Hot Springs called the Mammoth Site & Museum which contains the worlds largest research facility and remains but we ran out of time.
We have a couple more stops in South Dakota before we head to the only state we haven't visited yet in our 5th wheel as full time travelers.  And one of us moves permanently out of California....


  1. What a wonderful find. I'd love to explore there.

  2. Although we are there pretty much every week, you have officially taught us more about Hot Springs then we ever knew. Again, it was great seeing you guys, hope to see you again soon!

    1. It's always like that, right? We'll be seeing ya down the road somewhere!

  3. What a cool town...thanks for the tour!
    Safe travels.

  4. Next time we visit that part of SD, we'll need to explore Hot Springs. I agree, so much of that architecture is beautiful. I'll also be picking up a few jugs of that water … I could use a little 'fountain of youth' remedy. 😀

    1. The town was gorgeous. I'll make sure to get some extra water too!

  5. I really like the symmetry of the gravestones found at military cemeteries. We passed a cemetery yesterday here near Bar Harbor Maine. The oldest headstone found was 1827.

  6. I love Hot Springs, so when I saw your log, I had to read every bit of it. It is so beautifully put together. I love the way you put some of the clippings and informational shots in with the gorgeous pics you took! It was almost like being there. Thank you so much for the wonderful tour of the place I haven't been able to get back to the last few years. It was wonderful!!

    1. Your welcome. It’s a great town. Thanks for stopping by!


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