Victoria Glades CA

Glades are marvellous places, and Victoria and Valley View Glades are good places to see them. Even though they occur in a variety of places in Missouri, they always feel unique, a departure from the usually timbered Ozark landscape. They invite a kind of slow progress, a constant stopping and turning to look, since glades often reveal a vista that is not possible in thick woods.

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The carcass of old car, a '60 Fairlane perhaps, sits in the middle of a dry creek bed a short distance south of the Victoria Glades parking lot. There are two ways to get there. If it hasn't rained recently, follow the creek bed. Otherwise, pick your way down a faint path leading off south from the parking.

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Some trails go nowhere.

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I'm puzzled over a spot at Valley View Glades. Running parallel to the trail, as it heads along the top of the ridge, are a pair of long, straight ditches.

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Sometimes, the trail fades away to nothing, inviting (or forcing, depending on your point of view) off-trail exploration.

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After wandering a bit across the open landscapes at Victoria Glades, I headed for a nearby hilltop, where the openness was abruptly replaced by thick brush. Fortunately, an old wagon road headed south through the brush along the hilltop.

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After an hour or so wandering around Victoria Glades, sort of looking for the trail, but not looking very hard, I finally found one, and decided to follow it. But I didn't get very far when I noticed, off in the woods, another glade opening and the start of a small creek, fringed in cedars. Since Victoria Glades's trails hadn't done well by me, I headed off through the woods. And, after going not more than twenty or thirty yards, I discovered an utterly magical place.

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