Camping in Faith

For me, a place to worship is as important as that perfect campsite.

While driving towards Hot Springs National Park under ominous lighting storms, my family and I found a campsite that provided rest and a whole lot more. The rains receded and the darkness fell to light which made setting up for base camp a lot easier.  After drying off most of our soaked gear, my wife prepared the kitchen for another tasty camping cuisine. In turn, I searched for a place to worship.  For Sunday was right around the corner and we had lots to be thankful for.

After a satisfying supper, it was easy to see that our find was a gem!  With its bubbling clear brook and mist permeating from the mountainous hiking trails, Gulpha Gorge Campground was faultless.  Quintessentially, the find of an 1870 church known as Saint Mary of the Springs set in motion our commitment to attend mass Sunday morning.

But first, we had to get out and explore!  Connecting with nature is connecting with our Creator, even when it storms.  And east of the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas we encountered wildlife, sun fish, and architectural expressions of faith that brought us to our knees.  Literally!

I felt grateful to have been a visitor in this region and often wondered how might the early explorers such as Father Marquette, 1673, felt while traversing the Hot Springs.  

For more on this story view this short film.

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