The Fam

The Fam
Family Photos Fall 2015

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Glory Holes and Rattle Snakes

On our vacation last month we went to Owyhee Reservoir in Eastern Oregon.  It was warm and we rented a Teepee right on the water.  My kids swam in the lake for hours at a time.  We went canoeing and fishing for crappie, bass and catfish.  We actually caught a few.  The weather was fabulous.  We stayed in Ontario Saturday night so we could attend church.  One of the purposes of this trip is to shop wards and find out where we want to move to.  After church we made our way to the lake.  
We were unpacking and Mayson yelled hey I found a lizard.  I yelled something back like that’s great, get back to work.  Then my 8 year old Daughter Payton yelled Daddy I found a snake.  My kids are not afraid of critters, so I knew they were headed in to pick it up.  A split second later I screamed don’t touch it.  I went over to where it was and sure enough it was a Rattle snake.  It was only about 15 inches long and had 2 rattles.  We knew we could not leave a rattle snake in camp. So my dad said here I will hold it and you kill it with this knife.  Not likely, how about we throw  a rack on it or move it into the next camp.  He then took his knife out and cut its head off while he held the body down with the handle of his fishing pole.  Ok not a bad start to camping.

I downloaded this photo of a what the snake we found looked like.
The kids think their grandfather is the new Crocodile Hunter and I have not asked what they think of their less gutsy dad who just wanted to squash it from a safe distance with a rock.  I think time will be the judge of how that story evolves…however I don’t think it is going to be kind to me. 

Glory Hole with water pouring into it.

Glory hole after water had dropped and only a little is draining.

While we were at the lake they had a structure I have never seen before.  It is called a glory hole.  It is an emergency water release for the entire reservoir.  It is a fixed concrete ring with a steel lip on it that acts as a drain whenever the water gets to high.  Yes it is like a bath tub drain for a lake that is 53 miles long and about 1 mile wide.  When the water level falls below the level of the drain it stops running out.  This glory hole was really impressive to see.  It also scared the heck out of my kids.  Our camp was several miles from the drain which also sat next to a hydroelectric dam.  My kids wouldn’t let us take the canoes that direction for fear of getting caught in a current and suck into the hole and chopped up into little bits and turned into fish food.  We came back by it a few days later and the water level had dropped and it was then just a round ring in the water and not nearly as scary.  Nolan our 6 year old said it was be ok to canoe that way now that they turned the drain off. 
I downloaded these photos offline.  You can see the glory hole well above the water line.

This is an air shot of the dam.  At the time in 1932 when it was built that it was the tallest dam in the world.  You can see the glory hole in the top left corner of the photo.


  1. When Dad told me he cut the head off a rattle snake I thought he was the new crocodile hunter also.

  2. Nice pictures Ryan, I also never seen it before and especially not here in Holland. It looks impressive.



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