The Glory Hole
April 26, 2003

In the early Eighties I first learned of the existence of The Glory Hole from a description in an Ozark National Forest map, but the map didn't even show where it was located. A month ago I saw my first picture at a Tim Ernst slide show, and it has been at the top of my list of places to see ever since.
Cliff and I drove up on a wonderful sunny Saturday afternoon. It was just warm enough for shorts and t-shirts. I had the waterfall, and what I thought was the road going down to it, marked in my GPS receiver, but we actually started hiking down the wrong road. A pony on the other side of the fence followed beside us to Cliff's delight. Luckily my GPS also told me how far away and in which direction The Glory Hole was, so with a little bit of bushwhacking we were on the correct jeep trail.
We soon came to the little stream uphill from the waterfall. All the little cascades and smaller waterfalls alone would have been worth the trip. Cliff couldn't resist the urge to stick his foot in the cascading water at one point, but I didn't get on to him. Someday he'll learn!
I won't try to describe how awesome The Glory Hole is. I'll just say it's way nicer in person than in any picture you'll ever see. I was almost as impressed with the area directly downhill from the waterfall, although I didn't get a single picture. There were bluffs, huge boulders, more cascades and lush trees and plants.
We hiked back to the correct parking area then walked along the highway to where we were parked. The pony followed us again and I was able to snap a picture of him. Now every time we're in the area Cliff and I look over for that pony, and if I see him I'll say "Cliff, there's your pony!"
We had one more event planned before heading home. We drove up to Cave Mountain Cave in hopes of seeing a bunch of bats flying out at dusk. Entrance to the cave is prohibited for much of the year for the protection of a large bat population there. We only saw a few bats a minute fly out, but it was fun anyway.
On the way, there were elk grazing in Boxley Valley so we stopped to snap some pictures.