The Tank Slough was the perfect get away for a young boy. If you walked the railroad tracks towards Whitewater for about 1 mile you would reach the Tank Slough on the left side of the tracks. It got it's name because there used to be a railroad water tank at the location. I can't even count the times I have camped out there. It was the prefect place to hide out as a young boy. It was a good hunting and fishing spot, and all the privacy a kid could stand. My favorite thing about the Slough was the bass fishing. It had some big bass in it, and it looked like something out of a Tarzan movie. It had huge lily pads and vines hanging everwhere, so even when the fish weren't biting it was still a sight to behold.
The old slough reminded me of the land that time forgot because it wasn't only the bass that were big. This little swamp had some of the most prehistoric snakes and turtles that I have ever seen. I'll never forget the time that a group of us boys were walking home after camping out at the slough. With every few steps we would take somebody would shout, "snake!" trying to scare the others. As we reached the top of the railroad tracks I saw the biggest snake that I had ever seen outside of a zoo. This thing was huge. It's head was on one of the rails of the tracks and it's body went down the side of the tracks and vanished into the weeds. As soon as I saw it, I said "look at the size of that snake", but nobody even flinched because we had been joking about snakes all morning. When no one reacted, I said "really guys, look at that snake", and when they did, everybody freaked out! I'm not kidding, I believe that the snake was atleast 8 feet long (could have been bigger) and as big around as a good size leg. I didn't want to get close to it, but my step brother Scott thought we needed to kill it and take it home to show everyone, because nobody was going to believe us when we told then how big it was.
Any other time we would have had a shotgun, but this time all we had was a shovel and fishing poles. So, Scott got close enough to try and hit it on the head with the shovel. He raised the shovel over his head and came down with great force missing the snake and breaking our good shovel on the rail of the tracks. The Missouri Anaconda raised it's oversized head gave us a dirty look and slid off into the Tank Slough Badlands never to be seen again. Now, we had no snake and no shovel. I guess the moral of this story is, let sleeping snakes lie.
P.S. Happy New Year everybody! it's now 2009