CHAPTER IX. HOOKER'S HOT SPRINGS


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ARIZONA has several hot springs within her borders but, perhaps, none are more valuable nor picturesquely located than Hooker s hot springs. These springs are located in the foothills on the western slope of the Galiura mountains in southeastern Arizona, thirty-five miles west of Willcox on the Southern Pacific Railroad. The spot is beautifully situated, commanding an extended view of valley and mountain scenery.

There are a dozen springs, big and little, in the group and are scattered over several acres of hillside. The temperature of the water is 130° Fahrenheit and too hot to drink but, if sipped slowly, it makes an admirable hot-water draught. The springs evidently have their source deep down in the earth and the flow of water never varies. When the water from the different springs is all united it forms a good sized brook. The water is conducted through pipes into the bath house, where it supplies a row of bath-tubs with water of any desired temperature. The surplus water flows into a large earthern tank or artificial lake and is used for irrigating a small farm that produces grain, fruits and vegetables.

The water from these springs is in great demand and is not only sought by the human biped, but is also in favor with


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the equine quadruped. Every morning after the stable doors are thrown open and the horses turned loose they invariably, of their own accord, proceed to the lake, wade out into shallow water and take a bath. They lie down and splash the water about like a lot of schoolboys taking a swim.

The water from all the springs is perfectly soft and pure. It cannot be called a mineral water, as an analysis shows that it contains only a trace of any kind of mineral matter. This peculiarity of the water is no damage to the springs, since purity is the best recommendation that any water can have. Water that is heavily mineralized may be medicinal, but is not necessarily remedial, or even wholesome, notwithstanding the popular belief to the contrary. Water that is charged with much mineral is spoiled for drinking. Moderately hard water need not be injurious to anybody, but is especially beneficial to children. The assimilative function in the child appropriates mineral water tardily and sometimes absorbs it altogether too slowly for the child' good. Its absence in the system causes a disease called rickets, in which, from a lack of lime, the bones of the child become soft and yielding. The bones of a rickety child will bend rather than break. It is slow to walk and inclines to become bow-legged.

It is entirely different in old age. As the years multiply the system absorbs an abnormal and ever increasing amount of calcareous matter. The bones become unduly hard and brittle and are easily broken. Bony matter is liable to be deposited in and about the joints, when they become stiff and painful. It also lodges in the various soft tissues of the body, and ossification of the valves of the heart and walls of the arteries sometimes happens. It weakens the blood vessels so that they easily rupture, which causes apoplexy, paralysis and death. Calcareous concretions in the kidneys and bladder, also, come from the same cause, and are called gravel.


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HOT WATER DRAUGHT.

HOOKER'S HOT SPRINGS.


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Such deposits are not only annoying and painful to the patient, but in time may prove fatal if not removed by surgery.

Middle-aged and elderly people should never drink anything but soft water. If a natural supply of soft water cannot be obtained distilled water should be substituted. If neither natural soft water nor distilled water are available, and there is doubt as to the purity of the water that is being used, it should be boiled and then let stand to cool and settle. Boiling not only destroys and renders harmless any organic germs that may be present, but also precipitates and eliminates much of its inorganic salts.

A few drops of a weak solution of nitrate of silver added to a glass of water will quickly determine its quality. If the water that is being tested is free from mineral matter no change is produced, but if it contains mineral it turns the water opaque or milky.

The value of mineral water as a healthful or necessary drink has been greatly exaggerated. While it may do good in some instances, it is not nearly as beneficial as is commonly supposed. Instead of it always doing good the contrary is often true.

If a mineral water is desired there is no necessity of visiting a mineral spring to obtain it, as it can be made artificially at home or at the nearest pharmacy in any quantity or of any quality desired, with the additional advantage of having it contain exactly the ingredients wanted. There are nearly as many mineral waters on the market as there are patent medicines, and both are about equally misrepresented and deceiving. All classes of people would undoubtedly be greatly benefited in health, strength and longevity if more attention was given to the quality of our domestic water supply. Any one who needs a change, other things being equal, should seek a resort that furnishes pure, soft water rather than


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choose a spring that only boasts of its mineral properties. Not all of the benefit that is derived from a course at a watering place is due to the virtues of the water, be it ever so potent. The change of environment, climate, diet, bathing, etc., are each factors that contribute something towards a cure.

Next to using pure water as a beverage it is important to know how to bathe properly, such knowledge being simple and plain enough if only common sense is used. Usually the more simply a bath is administered the better are the results. Some people seem to think that in order to derive any benefit from a bath it is necessary to employ some unusual or complicated process. Nothing is further from the truth. The plain, tepid bath is the best for general use. It thoroughly cleanses the body and produces no unpleasant shock. A hot bath is rarely needed but, if it is used, enough time should be given after it to rest and cool off before going out into the open air in order to avoid taking cold. The good or harm of a bath must be judged by its effects.

A bath is only beneficial when it is followed by a healthy reaction, which is indicated by an agreeable feeling of warmth and comfort, and is injurious if the subject feels cold, weak or depressed. A bath does not affect all people alike; what will do one person good may injure another. It is never wise to prescribe a stereotyped treatment for every patient. The disease, temperament and constitution of each individual must be taken into account and the temperature and frequency of the bath must be determined and regulated by the necessity and idiosyncrasies of each case. The amount of bathing that a strong, full-blooded person could endure would mop out the life of a thin, bloodless weakling.

Locally, these springs have become famous because of the remarkable cures they have effected, and are sought by many


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THE MORNING BATH.

AQUIET NOOK.


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sick people who have failed to find relief by other means. Before the white man came the Indians used the water for curing their sick. The water is curative in rheumatism, neuralgia, dyspepsia, blood and skin disorders and kidney complaint. The water cure is all right even if it does not always fulfill every expectation.

Hookers hot springs is a pleasant place to visit for people who are not invalids. It is off the beaten path of travel and is an ideal spot for the tired man who needs a rest. It has not yet been overrun by the crowd, but retains all of the natural charm of freshness which the old resorts have lost. Here nature riots in all of her wild beauty and has not yet been perceptibly marred by the despoiling hand of man.

Aside from the luxury of the baths which the place affords the visitor can find a great deal to please him. The climate is healthful and the weather pleasant during most of the year. In the near vicinity much can be found in nature that is interesting. Never-failing mountain streams, deep cañons and dark forests wait to be visited and explored, while curiosities in animal and vegetable life abound. Not far off is a place where perfect geodes of chalcedony are found.

Mining and ranching are the leading industries of the country and a visit to some neighboring mine or cattle ranch is not without interest to the novice. But, if he starts out on such a trip he must decide to make a day of it, as the country is sparsely settled and the distances long between camps. If the accommodations where he stops are not always luxurious the welcome is cordial and the entertainment comfortable. The new experience is also delightfully romantic.

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