Bud surprised me yesterday morning by suggesting an impromptu trip to ‘The Glory Hole.’ It’s a place here in Newton County that we had seen pictures of, and had wanted to see at some point. We’ve been talking about seeing it for a while, so it was a nice surprise when Bud suggested it.
Basically, it’s a big hole in a rock overhang, and during wet weather, a creek flows into the hole, and creates a waterfall underneath it, which flows on downstream.
It was a beautiful day yesterday; warmer than many we’ve had. The drive to get there was beautiful! The leaves are really starting to turn in places, and the country side was ablaze. I don’t think we are even near ‘peak season’ yet.
We had trouble finding the place. We drove quite a ways past it, and then double backed and went down another road, and then back the way we came from. I saw some cars parked along an easement on the road, and said to Bud, “I wonder what those cars are parked there for out in the middle of nowhe…..OH, HEY! There it is! I see a sign that says ‘The Glory Hole.’ ”
No wonder we had trouble finding it! This was the only sign, and it was it was sort of set into the trees at the head of the trail off the road.
The trail was about a mile in length to get there to see the ‘The Glory Hole’. It was a nice trail, but I noticed it was going steadily downhill, and I wondered how bad it would be to get back. Bud has some knee problems, and I worried about him. I let him set the pace and I mostly followed behind him. I took a Day Pack with some bottled water, but our bladders were so full, that we decided to stay thirsty and dehydrated until we could get back on the road.
There was another sign, just in case we might get confused at the fork in the trail. This is the way we do it here in Arkansas. 🙂
Finally, the terrain started to change, with big boulders strewn haphazardly along the way. We saw some people down below us, and I said, “HEY!” They were relieved, because they were hiking along the dry stream bed, and hadn’t found the real trail back. Because we were on it, they were able to see where the real trail was. We talked for a bit, and I told them that I was glad they made the mistake, because that way, we would not have to make it…AND WE ALMOST DID ON THE WAY BACK. It was an easy mistake to make.
We finally saw some guys in their 20’s just hanging out. Turns out they were watching a black snake crawl along the rocks. But then…as Bud was shooting the breeze with them…I saw it. THE HOLE, IN ALL IT’S GLORY! Glorious, it was…except that it was dry. Everything was DRY! We’ve been in somewhat of a drought the past few months. I think the Glory Hole and it’s stream are mostly a wet weather phenomenon. It was still fun, and spectacular, though.
We asked the guys how to get down to the bottom and they pointed the way. It was kind of treacherous down there.
…but totally worth it. I stayed way behind because I wanted to get a picture of Bud under The Glory Hole to get a picture of the magnitude of the specter.
Then, I decided to join him, and on the way there, I slipped and my knee came down on a rock. It hurt very badly. I just stayed there on my hands and knees for a few minutes hoping the pain would go away. My first thought was for my good DSLR camera. I had not put the lens cap back on it, and I was afraid I had come down on the lens. Bud kept telling me he was more concerned for ME. My second thought was that I had ruined my hiking career and would not be able to do my upcoming Thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I was soon able to get up, and though painful, I could walk. It still hurts, but it’s not as stiff as it was yesterday.
I went up and took a picture looking up into the hole.
I gloried in the hole, (which was glorious)…and then I carefully made my way back, avoiding anymore falls or slips, and took some pictures of the bottom of the gorge, or canyon or whatever you want to call it.
There were some huge boulders down there, but you can’t really take in the magnitude of it unless you have something by it for comparison.
Thankfully, the trip back up to the trail head was not as hard as I was anticipating and we made it back safely. I saw an interesting caterpillar on the way back. I have no idea what kind it is.
After staring at not-too-subliminal messages during the entire hike, I was pretty hungry, and Bud was, too. Since it took us so long to find the place, we were well past lunchtime and very close to supper. Bud suggested that we stop on the way home at our favorite local place to eat: The Ozark Cafe, and we did.
I got a Chopped Steak with onions and mushrooms, mashed potatoes and carrots, plus salad bar and a roll. (I saved the roll for the chickens.) Bud had some kind of chicken breast with ham, Swiss cheese and bacon on top with black beans and mashed potatoes on the side, plus salad bar and roll. (He ate his roll.) Aren’t you thankful to know these details? 🙂 We sat at a big table right in front of the big picture window and watched people pass by in the quaint little town of Jasper.
It was a one of my perfect days, and one which will linger in my memory for a while.