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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Go Soak Your Head

  ~ split rail fence, Bath County, VA ~
Last month, Aunt Esther and I went to the annual Pickens Pancake Breakfast otherwise known as the WV Maple Syrup Festival. It's our tradition and even at 91, Aunt Esther insists upon going, meeting and greeting, eating her fair share of pancakes, sausage, coffee and, generally, being Queen Bee. As the oldest person there, she's entitled. While we did eat breakfast at the old school, now community center and VFW Hall, we didn't get to the sugar camp this year, even so, the weather was beeeyouuutifulll! The best it's been in many a year and a record crowd in attendance. At least it seemed a record crowd.
~ Bath County, VA ~
But, I'm getting ahead of myself. For a change of pace this year, I decided to take the long way home and sneak in an extra night prior to Pickens. Bath County, VA is as full of history and character as any in our Commonwealth and the Inn at Grist Mill Square is a delightful place both to stay and eat. When I arrived, I was directed to a parking space front and center and told, "we're not that booked, so take a front row parking place." Great!

I went to the front desk and offered my credit card. The woman looked at me curiously and said, "Oh, no need to bother with that now. We'll settle all that when you leave tomorrow morning." Uh, sure!

I was given the Silo Room and yes, it's the old round silo and beautifully and simply decorated. The fireplace was already laid and ready for a lighted match with additional fire wood in the nearby basket.
 ~ a cozy fire in the Silo Room ~
The advertised room rate was for two people but, since I was solo, they halved the price. Again, great and excellent marketing as well. These are people who understand it's best to sell a room at half price than not sell it at full price. A lesson some hoteliers would do well to learn.
 ~ breakfast, prettily delivered ~
 The next morning, breakfast was delivered in a cloth covered basket and consisted of croissant, jam, butter, coffee in a carafe with sugar and cream and a small orange juice. Simple in content and size but plenty enough and I'm sure the presentation and locale added to the delicious factor. BTW, there were enough ashes and a couple of pieces of firewood left over so I had another small, but adequate, fire as I broke my fast. Absolutely delightful!
 ~ Jefferson Pools ~
 The reason I stayed at the Inn at Grist Mill Square was its close proximity to the Jefferson Pools, about a mile down the road. The Jefferson Pools have been restoring weary travelers since before Thomas Jefferson came and waxed poetical about the restorative and therapeutic value of the warm waters.
 ~ the womens bath ~
 The bath for men, looks much like the bath for women, but was established some years earlier in 1761 when a circular building was built but for men only. The ladies voices raised in protest and in 1836 a separate building was built and opened for the ladies.

The men's bath holds approximately 40,000 gallons of water that is, naturally, bubbling up from the ground at 98 degrees F. All buildings, pretty much, look quite the same now as then. When sections need to be replaced, they are replaced with new materials so there's a cobbled together effect that's charming and even quaint and are renown as the oldest spa structure in the USA.

The women's bath is a bit larger than the men's bath, holds more water, is about four feet deep and the water is so clear, it's easy to see the stones at the bottom of the pool. With the gazebo roof, during winter snows, it's possible to lie in the warm waters with snow flakes drifting round about.

 ~ mineral content of the warm waters ~
There may be some who don't believe in the therapeutic benefits of a warm, mineral water soak; I am not one. Truly, I believe in the restorative benefits and would love to live close enough to warm, mineral waters so I could soak daily. In talking with our vet, Dr. Anne, she told us the connective tissue in our bodies contains sulphur and it is this reason the warm, mineral bath water is so restorative. The mineral water contains sulfates, and other minerals, that are both beneficial and therapeutic. A soak in these waters, a mere $17 for one hour, left me feeling relaxed, flexible, calm and a general feeling of all round "all's right with my world". The flexible part is what amazed me. Some decades ago, I sustained an injury to my right knee and destroyed the ligaments and others bits that hold the knee together. When I move my knee, it sounds, and feels, like gravel and, most times, the knee cannot be bent. After a soak, the knee not only bent but without pain, something that's not happened since the late 1960's!
~ women's bath ~
If you suffer from fibromyalgia or other auto-immune connective joint tissue pain, you really should consider a warm soak in some mineral waters. Thomas Jefferson suffered from what he called, "rheumatism" and he found the waters to be thoroughly beneficial.I'm sure there are doctors who would say these warm, mineral waters have no such restorative value but I'm also sure "there are more things, Horatio, in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy" as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5.

Go soak your head; there are warm, hot even, mineral baths the world over and, I promise, you won't regret the soak.

Blessings ~ Inn at Grist Mill Square ~ Jefferson Pools ~ warm, mineral waters the world over ~  a cozy fire ~ breakfast in a basket ~ maple syrup festival ~ Pickens Pancake Breakfast ~ Aunt Esther ~

Thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm,


  1. Anonymous11:04 AM EDT

    Glad you enjoyed your visit to my neck of the woods - I waited tables at the Grist Mill until last July. =)
    Janice (the owner) will be tickled pink to see the Mill blogged.

  2. How interesting! Great post. Would love to visit there, especially the mineral baths! Aunt Esther sounds like a great lady.

  3. it sounds as if you had just a wonderful time. glad you have a pain free knee, at least for a bit!

  4. Thanks for sharing this.
    As someone with Fibromyalgia and Connective Tissue Disorder, I have been told this would help my bod!
    Living with Fibro is rough. I have to push myself each day. Last year about this time I was bedridden for 2 weeks. I wish I had something like this at that time!

    Always love your posts!

    Have a wonderful weekend, Sandra!
    xo, misha

  5. Hi Sandra, I LOVED all of this...gosh a maple syrup festival....sigh.....

    this is my last weekend without a doggy...we get Teddy on Wednesday...

    counting the days

    have a wonderful weekend


  6. That sounds like a great time! The mineral baths alone would be worth it.

    Thanks so much for all your good advice on my last post. Having recently gone through home buying hell, I'm only too familiar with all the stones that need turning over. Nothing is EVER as good as it seems!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. Pain free knees? That would be great!!!
    Everything looks and sounds wonderful. Glad you could get away!

  8. Thanks for visiting my blog. If you go to the shabby blog logo on my blog, you can get the flower sides that I have on it. It is a freebie.

    Have a wonderful day.

  9. Looks like you had a beautiful night! That places looks awesome...

    Glad to hear you're doing well. I will keep you in my prayers for a complete healing from the Lord!

    Hugs and Kisses...

  10. i;m so glad your knee was helped
    by the warm mineral bath.

    i've heard warm baths with epsom
    salts help sore ligaments, too.

    sounds like a fun time.

  11. Seems like a great place to stay! And I think a mineral bath is just what I need for this achy body most days! Glad you had a nice time with your aunt. The basket for breakfast looks really nice!

  12. thanks sandra..each one is precious...i just love them all so MUCH !

    they mean the world to me....

    have a wonderful weekend, my sweet friend

    sending love,

  13. I would love to visit --- and yes I believe the baths would be helpful.... (I even swear that the heat in a tanning bed helps my aches and pains...) -- great post!

  14. Sandra, this was a pure delight! I almost feel as if I too have had a restorative soak -- but in your wonderful point of view of this big wide world! Your stories are so unique and upbeat! Hurrah for Aunt Esther!
    Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words for Gracie! She is doing well.

  15. Wow!! That sounds like my kind of day. I always wanted to go to a maple syrup festival. I would love to see those pools and try them. Sounds to me you had a really great and relaxing time..something I could use after a 5-day work week babysitting. I don't usually watch my grandaughter 5 days and this week she is teething. Glad you shared your time with us. I now have to put that on my list of places to visit.

  16. thank you for taking us along on your trip - yes I'm a great believer in soaking in natural mineral waters and glad you were able to get some relief from the knee issue.

  17. Hi wardhouse - loved my visit to the Inn and the Baths...fabulous!

    Hi West Side - you've GOT to try pools somewhere...your body will thank you.

    Hi Life is Good - pain free knee last a while, a short while, but it was good while it lasted!

    Hi Misha - you have NO idea how much you would benefit from mineral bath soak. Truly, I meant it. I'm trying to get my girlfriend to meet me in NC at some mineral baths. It really does help; especially in July and August. For some reason, the baths are better during hotter months and your body responds more quickly and better.

    Hi Kary - counting the days with you; love my critters, beasts and varmints!

    Hi Anne - sorry to hear you had a bad experience but sounds like this new place might be pretty great.

    Hi Farmgirl Cyn - pain free anything is pretty fabulous, eh?

    Hi Amy - thanks for letting me know about the flower pattern, it sure was cute!

    Hi Deborah Ann - your prayers are Always Appreciated and thank you!

    Hi myletterstoemily - I soak in an epsom salt bath several times a month and it does help. Then, I pour the bathwater on my plants as it's wonderful for blooming and growing things.

    Hi Walking on Sunshine - I thought of you and your fall, bet you could benefit from a mineral soak!

    Hi Kary - we love our companions, don't we? They deserve nothing but love!

    Hi Country Girl - the heat therapy is a great reason for tanning beds, it does help.

    Hi FireLight - so glad Gracie is doing better; she looks like a wonderful friend.

    Hi Woebegone - there are mineral baths in several states - NC, NM, Alaska, Arkansas, VA, WV and others.

    Hi LindaSue - I love mineral pools, wish I had one in my back yard!

  18. Sandra I enjoy traveling vicariously through you!!
    I would love to visit those springs sometime.
    I have fibro, osteoarthritis and am borderline for rheumatoid arthritis too. My version of bathing in the springs is to fill my big old cast iron bathtub with a hot bubble bath and soak as long as possible. Relaxing and refreshing. =)

  19. Chris and I loved this post and can't wait to try everything you talked sometime soon!


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