A camping staple
By Larry Mountainborn Harmon
The crackle of the campfire above 10k feet of elevation in the pre dawn chill of the Rocky Mountains, accented by the massive echoing call of a bull Elk and a steaming cup of your favorite coffee. Sound Heavenly ? Yes indeed !
Over the years on these forums, we have visited lots of coffee topics, from many ways to brew it, and beans to blends. Now, over the years Betty and I have pretty well settled in on a couple of coffee brands that we like real well, and have noticed that the most consistent thing that effects the taste of our coffee is the water. We generally take a couple of gallons of distilled water with us, but not any commercially available brand. It is free, courtesy of the National Parks Service. Free and open to the public at locations all over down town Hot Springs Arkansas. These free springs are both hot and cold depending on where they are. So just exactly where are they you might ask ? The NPS provides a handy map and lots of information about the springs at this location:
Here is a map grab from that page:
Here is what our favorite Spring fed Jug Fountain looks like:
It is a pretty simple process, just pull up in your vehicle, step out with a jug and fill it up ! Well, that is, depending upon how big of a jug you bring. The lady in the photo below is loading five gallons at a time, jug after jug.
People drive from miles around to get this delicious tasting water. Which makes one wonder, just what is in the water ? Here is a quick grab from that NPS article that is linked above. Note that the water is one hundred forty three degrees Fahrenheit !
Early Spanish Explorers heard about the Hot Springs from Native Americans and came to the area to check it out, thinking it might be the legendary fountain of youth.
Betty and I have tried both the Hot and the Cold spring water and prefer the Hot to make our Coffee with. That chemical analysis is interesting, but, in the end, the proof is in the taste.
If you are pulling your Oliver anywhere near Hot Springs, be sure to fill a jug and find out for yourself if the taste can make yours, the perfect cup of coffee.