Ogopogo, The Okanagan Lake Monster :-)

Okanagan Lake is 232m (761ft) deep and 135km (84m) long so it is anyone’s guess what lives under the waves, but there is a popular belief that Ogopogo makes his home in the lake. Over 200 sightings have been recorded of this mysterious animal but so far there has never been a picture or video that can conclusively prove that Ogopogo really does live in the lake.

Almost every tourist who walks around downtown Kelowna has their picture take with this Ogopogo.

There is evidence of dinosaurs in the interior of British Columbia so it is possible that Okanagan Lake, which is a post glacier lake formed about 10,000 years ago from the melting of massive ice masses, could be home to a lake monster.

Ogopogo is said to be the oldest resident of Okanagan Lake and scientists believe he could be a giant sea serpent, some sort of aquatic dinosaur left over from the Ice Age.

Sightings of Ogopogo date back to the late 1800’s and the most recent one I have heard about actually took place in our campground three years ago!

There is also a native legend about Ogopogo that has been past down from generation to generation which I have copied from Wikipedia “The lore starts off with a demon-possessed man who’s known as Kel-oni-won, who brutally murders a well known and respected elder, Old Kah-ne-kon. As punishment for his actions, the Creator transformed Kel-oni-wan into a lake serpent, to suffer eternal remorse. From that day on, he was known as N’ha-a-itk, translating to “water demon” or “lake monster”. None of the other animals could tolerate N’ha-a-itk except for Rattlesnake, which is why he resides near Rattlesnake Island.

For free passage across the lake, the monster would require a living sacrifice in return for a safe trip. The natives would drop small animals such as sheep in the water to appease the creature and ensure protection. If you failed to comply with N’ha-a-itk’s statute, then he would whip up a fierce storm and drown you. It was said that Rattlesnake island was littered with the gory remnants of those who did not obey.”

I think stuffed Oggie is pretty cute ☺

Personally I prefer the scientific explanation but I will let you make your own choice. It is often thought that the recent sightings of Ogopogo are actually just large logs floating in the lake, which is not surprising since Lake Okanagan has tens of thousands of logs harvested by the timber industry floating just under the lake’s surface.”

We saw this homemade Ogopogo in a local restaurant.

Whatever your beliefs, Ogopogo is popular figure around Kelowna 🙂

You can even find Ogopogo in the local grocery store.

Until next time …


A Visit With Old Friends

I know I keep saying I will do a post about Ogopogo but honestly other things keep getting in the way. This week we had a visit from hubby’s cousin and her husband and they stayed overnight with us. We had so much fun that we didn’t get to bed until the early morning hours!

Saturday and Sunday, were spent visiting with old friends 🙂 But not the kind of friends that you can talk back and forward with, in fact these old friends don’t talk at all.

For the past six years we have had all our household items stored in a 20 foot storage container and this past weekend we pulled everything out and had a visit.

It really was a lot of fun sitting on our furniture and looking through what we had.

When we listed our house it sold in six hours, but of course we had to keep it on the market for about ten days while we waited for the home inspection to be completed, which meant we could not pack or sell items we knew we would no longer use. Once the sale was final the new owner wanted a quick possession, which worked well for us because we wanted to head south before the snow came … the downfall though was not being able to sell some of the furniture we knew we would no longer need.

Lunch time, which I enjoyed in a living room chair and hubby enjoyed in a recliner from our den … I wasn’t sure he would get up again 🙂

Fortunately I had already retired so I was able to pack up all our belongings and had most of it done before hubby retired a week before we had to be out of the house. Unfortunately, while packing up some stuff in our crawl space, a large, heavy, brick fell on my foot and broke it in two places. That put me on crutches for six weeks and because I also had some deep cuts, which had to be monitored for infection, I was unable to wear a walking cast. That meant hubby had to finish the packing on his own, in a short period of time, and with the help of our son-in-law, had to pack the storage container without my help … really let’s face it I probably wouldn’t have been much help loading the container anyway 🙂

We rented a second container for the weekend just in case it rained. As it turned out it was the warmest day we have had so far and beautiful blue skies, so we probably could have managed without the extra bin.

So where am I going with this story? Well I’m not really sure but I think what I wanted to get out was that I wasn’t involved in the final packing and I sort of felt like I missed saying goodbye to my stuff … silly, I know, but that’s the way it is.

Our stuff has been in storage for almost six years and we felt we needed to get the container unpacked, first of all to make sure everything was okay, but also to see if we could get rid of anything.

Actually what started this whole process was the fact that I was missing my mixer, and for the last few years I was pondering buying a new one. Hubby thought we should get mine out of the container and save about $500.00 dollars, and that brings us to this weekend 🙂 We finally found the mixer in the second to last box in the very far right corner of the container!

We did have many conversations about what to do with all our stuff, should we sell it all, or continue paying to store it? Well ultimately we decided that there is some security in knowing that if need be we could easily set up a house, and that did give us a lot of piece of mind when we were in Niagara Falls and I was told I had Cancer. Fortunately that statement was wrong, but it was nice to know that we could easily set up a home if we needed to stay in Kelowna for the winter.

So after six hours of work yesterday, four with just hubby and I, two with our daughter, son-in-law, and one of our grandsons and another two hours this morning with the four of us and three grandsons, all our items are safely packed away for what we hope is another fun filled six years!

All packed up again.

Until next time …

What To Do On A Rainy Friday

I know I promised a blog about Ogopogo but somehow life has got in the way of composing that blog, maybe next Saturday.

The Dogwoods, British Columbia’s provincial flower, are starting to bloom.

We had another busy week with two different sets of friends visiting the park at the beginning of the week. Added to that was the fact that the other hosts were away so we had some extra chores and we had a lot of European tourists in the campground so we had lot’s of questions. Oh and on top of all of that our daughter and son-in-law’s hot water tank bit the dust so we had to head over to their place so hubby could help our son-in-law install a new one. It really felt like we didn’t get much of a visit with our friends but like I said above, sometimes life gets in the way 🙂

The only goslings I have seen in the park this year.

And then along comes Friday when we were supposed to be having my sister and brother-in-law and my cousin and her husband (who are camping here this weekend) over for dinner.

Despite the dismal forecast for the day, cool and rain, I figured we would still go ahead with dinner even if we had to sit inside Maxx … and then an early morning text changed all of that … there was a bear sighting in the park! The first time in six years!

So hubby and I spent five hours on bear watch. When the park operator was unable to convince the bear to go back down the beach and out of the park the bear decided to climb a tree and have a nap. Hubby and I sat in the park truck and watched for the bear to wake up, while also keeping people out of the area.

Once the bear, who we all think is about two years old and hubby named Booboo, woke up and came down from the tree, hubby and the park operator again tried to encourage the bear to leave the park. After a few more scrambles up and down trees Booboo decided he should head over to the parking lot in the day use area 😡

Coming down

Hmm maybe I should go up this tree.

But they convinced him to go the other way, but he did contemplate climbing this tree as well.

And he did climb this one but only stayed up there for about five minute.

And then it was a walk through the day use area … early in the day so no people there.

And then he went back up another tree for another nap, so once again we sat in the truck and watch Booboo sleep. After a half hour nap Booboo came back down the tree and more encouragement abound, but again Booboo went up another tree.

Another half hour or so goes by and down he comes, and after a lot of encouragement he finally climbs the fence and heads up into the hill outside the park … but no wait! I think he heard the traffic noise from the road above and got scared so he came back down to the park fence. More noise and encouragement ensued but he decided to head toward the entrance gate.

We were able to get the gate shut before he got there but only because Booboo decided he needed another nap and headed up another tree. Now we are in an area were we couldn’t park the truck so hubby and I got out our chairs and watched Booboo sleep for another forty-five minutes.

I’m sure people were wondering who these silly people sitting on the road staring at a tree where!

Finally Booboo headed back down the tree and while I ran and closed the gates again, hubby and the park operator tried to get him to cross the road into the hills on the other side. It took some doing but Booboo finally headed into safer territory on the other side of the road … hopefully he will stay there!

So folks if you ever find yourselves bored on a rainy Friday you should go bear watching 🙂 Since we were so busy with this adventure I rescheduled dinner for tonight and hopefully it will be a nicer day.

Until next time …

You Don’t See This Everyday!

I saw something new this morning and I just had to share it! I was walking along the beach just before 6:00 a.m. and noticed something out in the lake, way beyond the swim buoys.

I thought how amazing is that, maybe I was going to get really lucky and snag a picture of the famous Ogopogo I told you about in my last blog.

I took this picture later, but what I saw was a few hundred feet beyond the buoys.

I stopped to watch and began to realize it wasn’t Ogopogo, it wasn’t until it struggled to get over the swim buoys that I figured out what it was. Now I’m not a fan of blurry pictures in blogs but unfortunately my cell phone couldn’t focus from that far away and this is the best I can do … and if I don’t use this picture I can’t stretch this blog out longer 🙂

Can you tell what it is? Just think that the blurry picture was on purpose to keep you in suspense 🙂

This friendly animal had swam from the other side of the lake over to the park, a 1.7 km (just over a mile) swim!

Yup it’s a deer!

I had no idea deer could swim that far so of course I had to look it up when I got back to Maxx. It is true, deer are powerful swimmers and will often swim to cross bodies of water and can swim at up to 21km (13m) per hour.

So a few more interesting deer facts … mainly to stretch out the blog and use all my pictures 😀 Deer have powerful legs that allow them to run at speeds up to 60km (40m) an hour.

They can jump fences 9 feet tall and at a run can broad jump 30 feet.

Just two deer, when left alone, can produce up to 35 deer in just seven years!

At this point he was on shore and was now looking at me.

When I took a step he bolted off as if he had all the energy in the world. If I had just swam 1.7km across a cold lake … well never mind you get the picture.

Until next time …

Okanagan Lake

We have had an awesome week, with great weather!  Sunny skies and temperatures in the low 30C/86F … what’s not to like about that 😀

There is no end to the pretty flowering plants in this park.

One of the best things about living in Kelowna, British Columbia for most of our lives, aside from family, friends, and great weather, is being on Okanagan Lake.

The lake is 135 km (84 mi) long, between 4 and 5 km (2.5 and 3.1 mi) wide, and has a surface area of 348 km … yes it is one big lake!  Penticton, British Columbia (pop 36,647) sits at the south end of the lake, Kelowna (pop 136,233) in the middle, and Vernon, British Columbia (pop 42,574) on the north end. 

One of my favourite views, the lake from the mouth of Bear Creek.

The hillsides surrounding the lake are full of fruit orchards and grape vineyards and the lake views from some of the wineries are spectacular.

I took the two pictures below, from Okanagan Lake Bridge, last Sunday evening when we were driving back from our daughter’s place.  They are looking north toward Vernon, B.C..

Our campground is on the left where the hill juts out into the lake.

To cross into Kelowna from the south you must go over Okanagan Lake Floating Bridge or as it is now known, the William R. Bennett Bridge.  The bridge could be a blog all to itself and I may write one someday, but for now I will share a picture of the new bridge which opened in 2008 after three years of construction.  The five lane bridge is a floating bridge supported by pontoons … does that pique your interested, well now I will definitely have to do a blog on the bridge 🙂

I see the bridge whenever I walk along the beach.

Of course I have to mention the beaches because beautiful beaches surround Okanagan Lake.  You are probably bored to death by all my beach pictures from my morning walks around the park but I just can’t help myself!  When I need to think of something to put me in a happy place it is often the memories of lying on this beach, the sun warming me, and my three children building sandcastles and playing in the water.

I usually take my lake pictures early in the morning when nobody is on the beach. It is just so peaceful!

Okanagan Lake is home to Ogopogo our legendary lake monster but I think Oggie is a story for next week … and of course he is very allusive so I have no pictures of him.

Tomorrow we have two different sets of friends coming to the campsite for a few nights. This is a nice treat for us because we can all visit, have a few drinks, and walk home 🙂

And this guy is Marvin the Marmot, he waits at the bridge crossing the creek and greets me most mornings. It took a few weeks but he finally posed nicely for a picture.

Until next time …


A Busy Week

We had 134 campers pull out on the Monday of the long weekend … that is a lot of sites for staff to clean! All in all the campers were very mellow for a long weekend but we were kept busy with questions and helping out where we could.

More plants and trees are starting to flower.

On Monday evening we went down to Waterfront Park to watch our oldest granddaughters grad walk … I can’t believe she is old enough to graduate! We had a great time and I was able to get lot’s of pictures … she didn’t even flat out say no when I asked her to getting a running start and jump out onto a rock in the lake for a picture … although she did give me an eye before she realized I was joking 🙂

That’s our granddaughter in the blue gown 🙂

Our two days off, Tuesday and Wednesday, were busy running around getting supplies for a few projects we had going on here and doing the usual grocery shopping. We also have two coffee groups we get together with, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday morning.

The small pink and yellow flowers are Hummingbird Flowers. I saw them at the nursery and thought I would plant some and put the pot under one of my Hummingbird feeders.

Both feeders are constantly busy but I really don’t think the flowers are doing anything to attract them.

Although we have the freedom to come and go as we please, Tuesday and Wednesday are our official days off so we try to do everything those two days. Once we return to the park on those days we put up our On Duty sign and are happy to help out. Really when you look at what we have to do, it is a small price to pay for free rent and internet in such a beautiful location 😀

The wild roses are starting to bloom and it smells so nice when I walk around the park.

I don’t remember the name of this bush but they are also around the park and starting to bloom.

We were able to enjoy an afternoon and evening around the fire pit on Wednesday and, as I was looking around thinking how nice our site was, I thought I should take some pictures to show you.

You can just see the roof of the gatehouse above the truck.

My veggie garden at the back of our site is growing well!

This garden is by the shed and has herbs and potatoes.

We had lettuce out of the garden for dinner yesterday ☺

Now we are into another busy weekend with a full campground, it will stay like this until mid September.

We have these Bridal Veil bushes all over the park, the are just starting to bloom.

We completed a big project yesterday that took the whole day and has left us a little stiff and sore, so today is all about relaxing. Okay if you know hubby that will never happen, I was just informed we need to go to Home Depot to pick up stuff to finish yesterday’s project 😦

And to hubby’s cousin’s wife, who just recently had surgery and phoned to tell us how she was doing and also requested a new blog so that she had something to read, we are thinking of you and sending good wishes and prayers your way … thanks for the encouragement to get out a new blog 🙂

Until next time …

A Drive Up Bear Lake Main Forest Service Road

When our children were very young we would drive up Bear Lake Main road and find camping spots off on side roads. Years later when we belonged to the Okanagan Auto Sports Club we participated in rallys that often took in parts of this road. And years after that we would often go up Bear Lake Main in search of fire wood when camping at Bear Creek Provincial Park because we were to cheap to pay for firewood 🙂

The Arrowleaf Balsamroot flower, aka the Okanagan Sunflower, can be found covering the forest floor.

I think it has been at least seven years since we have driven this road, so last week we thought it was time to take a drive. The turnoff is maybe two kilometres from the park.

And the Saskatoon bushes are in full bloom.

Not much has changed, the road is still gravel (after the first kilometre or so), it is still washboard, and the views are still incredible!

When we were in Edmonton last weekend I dropped off my 300mm lens at McBain Camera to have some warranty work done (I purchased the lens in Alberta to save on the sales tax). Now I am using my 18-55mm lens, which works okay, but I sure missed my other lens when I was taking pictures of Kelowna and Okanagan Lake. It may be three months before I get my favourite lens back 😥

Until next time …