GOOD FOR WHATEVER AILS YOU
Hot or cold, mineral or spring, a dip in natural Texas waters never fails to revive. The state is lucky to have such a well-balanced catalogue of options for aquafiles who believe in the healing properties of naturally-occurring springs, pools, and falls. Perhaps the best known spring-fed dip is one taken at Austin’s Barton Springs in Zilker Park where a particular generation of Austinites recall a time when midnight skinny-dips in the crystal-clear, sixty-eight degree waters earned a mere warning rather than fines and jail time. In west Texas, Balmorhea State Park offers a deep, spring-fed pool complete with diving boards, a shallow kiddy section, and scuba diving opportunities for those in training for certification. And the mineral waters of Mineral Wells have been promoted for generations as curatives and to promote health and well-being. Texas even has its own hot springs, a result of deep earth volcanism along the banks of the Rio Grande River in the Big Bend region, a phenomenon left over from an era of erupting volcanoes and surging lava. Hike all winter afternoon along one of Big Bend National Park’s many trails then hit the hotsprings, a shallow dip in the southeastern edge of the park where the ruins built by homesteader J. O. Langford surround a small foundation encompassing the 105 degree spring. What better way to end the day than slipping into a hot bath, courtesy of nature!