After a quick breakfast, we headed to the nearby Hot Springs. This is a lovely area of the park with trails, historical buildings, access to the Rio Grande, and of course the hot spring. On the way to the spring, we noticed some crafts for sale along the trail. I had read that the crafts were being sold by Mexican natives from across the border. They use an honor system with a jar for payment and come across the river in the evening to pick up the money. A short hike brought us to the spring. It is a small area enclosed by concrete blocks. The water is 105 degrees at its source. While soaking our feet, we chatted with some fellow visitors. They gave us some tips of other nice places to visit nearby including the Fort Davis Observatory.

As Francis was immersing himself fully in the water, another group of visitors came up. A very friendly gentleman by the name of Frank knew a lot about the history of the spring and was anxious to experience the warm water. His aunt in law Rosie was a bit more hesitant but eventually took off one sock and shoe and put a foot in. No amount of persuading convinced her to go any further. Frank shared his amazing story of surviving a 13 foot fall that broke his neck, and leg as well as many other injuries.
After they left, I took advantage of the fact that we were the only ones there and went into the spring in my bathing suit. The water was fantastic, warm but not too hot and so relaxing. I could have stayed much longer but I knew we would not be alone for long and that shyness thing always gets me. Sure enough, a large group with a guide arrived moments after I dried off and got dressed. Apparently they did not suffer from shyness because they quickly stripped to their suits and jumped in. On our way out we chatted with a gentleman who has worked at several national parks. He encouraged us to check out Wind Cave and the park in Alaska. As much as neither of us likes the cold, I must say he made both places sound very appealing.
We headed back toward the car, stopping along the way to take a short hike.The loop trail was an easy 1 and a half miles with some beautiful views. We recommend the Hot Springs if you visit Big Bend National Park.

Crafts on the trail
Shack on the Mexican side
Hot Spring

Francis and Frank chatting

Views from the hike

The drive back