From The Archives
Volume 1, Issue 4, Winter 2017
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Curvature Counsel: The Glory Hole

Words and Illustrations by Chester Jones

Jeff Bennett by Kyle Emery-Peck

Ye’ Ole Glory Hole. As history is written the project contract went to the lowest bidder of Peter Keiwit Sons’ Co., who built the entire dam and morning glory overflow spillway structure in under 4.5 years for just shy of 27 million bucks in the upper end of the 1950’s. Miraculously, the crew only broke 2 backs considering the dam thing overflowed during construction and the entire spillway barrel was blasted with two big bangs of dynamite. Formwork of tongue and groove 2x6 lumber lagged in 24ft lengths shaped the 28ft diameter full pipe and they never poured concrete on weekends, amen. This labor of lore was bore from the Solano Project which hauntingly desecrated the late curvature martyr of a town; Monticello, that chillingly rests in remnants at the bottom of Lake Berryessa.

Glory’s first purpose is simply being the spillway for when the water gets too high in Lake Berryessa so the Monticello Dam doesn’t collapse, her second purpose is best bestowed upon a BMX. And how glorious it is to pedal like hell from the elbow, veer around the dam detritus and peer into your first few perhaps finest carves of your very life. As your rods and cones in your eyes adjust your tires surely will, by gluing to the g-force driving you down the drain dreams are made of.

Time should be taken from Glory’s curves as she has kept the clock for the last 60 years and its as if every other full pipe out there has bloomed from Glory’s grandeur. Colossal, at times overwhelming, mammoth and matchless the opportunity is to open up the overtures of this full pipe making it nothing short than an absolute must, a bucket list operation for anyone looking to lean into the most marvelous transition built by man not specific to the 20” wheel. ︎


Monticello Dam: Technical Record Of Design And Construction
United States Department Of  The Interior Bureau Of Reclamation
Solano Project - California