COVID-19 social distancing walk and I’m out and about in the great city of Kelowna, British Columbia (BC). Whilst living up on Big White, a trip down to Kelowna would not be complete without taking the time to search for the legendary Ogopogo who reputedly resides in Okanagan Lake.
Lake Okanagan is about 250 miles (400 kms) east of Vancouver. The lake is 84 miles (135 kms) long and between 2.5 and 3 miles (4 kms and 5 kms) wide, with an average depth of 249 ft (76 m).
I’ve long been fascinated by cryptozoology … intrigued with folkloric creatures with the likes of Loch Ness, Sasquatch, Chupacabra, Abominable Snowman, Kraken, Sea Serpents, The Mothman, Thunderbirds and Jersey Devil, just to name a few. And since I’m here, I definitely could not pass up the opportunity to search out Ogopogo. A few years ago I visited Toutes Aides, Manitoba (while I lived in Manitoba) in search of Manipogo (check out that blog here).
It’s not really a monster, it’s a spirit of the lake and it protects this valley from one end to the other,” ~ Pat Raphael of the Westbank First Nation
What is Ogopogo?
Claimed to be a distant cousin of the Loch Ness Monster and is said to reside in Lake Okanagan, near Kelowna, BC. Ogopogo is to Kelowna what Nessie is to Loch Ness: a yet-to-be-identified cryptid that reputedly resides in the lake’s depths and surfaces just often enough to keep the legend alive.
Per the Kelowna Tourism Board “Stories date back thousands of years where the Interior Salish First Nation people spoke of N’ha-a-itk, the spirit of the lake. Stories of N’ha-a-itk changed over the years as European settlers transformed the stories they heard into a creature, which later became known as Ogopogo, and the purported sightings over the years continue to strengthen the legend.”
What am I searching for?
Descriptions vary, and certain characteristics have been consistent through the reports.
What are eyewitnesses seeing?
- Dark and multi-humped, with green, black, brown or gray skin.
- The head is said to look like that of a snake, sheep, horse, seal or even an alligator Some eyewitnesses say it has ears or horns; others don’t.
- About 25 meters long.
- Many sightings simply describe a featureless log that came alive.
Oddly enough, quite the similar description to when I posted about Manipogo!
Not to be confused with:
- A giant sturgeon
- An aquatic serpent
- A wave
- A floating log
It was 17° and partially sunny in Kelowna a couple of days ago when I was out and about, the weather was perfect! To scope out Ogopogo, I decided to take a walk down by Kelowna City Park and the Waterfront Boardwalk. The park/waterfront/marina area is a beautiful location to go for a walk and enjoy the scenery of Lake Okanagan. I loved breathing in the fresh air and soaking in the moments. People were out today and maintaining/respecting the social distancing measures of COVID-19.
Around town, Oggy takes the form of a cartoonish 15-foot-long green and cream coloured statue placed along Kelowna’s waterfront walk. I also spotted another Oggy down at the Parkinson Recreation Centre at the kids water park (not open due to coronovirus).
I’m not going to get into all of the reported “sightings” in this blog. You can easily search online and find all that you’re looking for there with one click. My blog is to capture MY experience around Lake Okanagan, on searching out Oggy, and to capture the beautiful sights.
Here are a few shots of my walk about around Lake Okanagan down by the marina and Kelowna City Park.
I had about as much luck finding Ogopogo as I did Manipogo. None.
That aside, Kelowna and the lakefront itself are absolutely stunning and 100% worth the visit.
If the Okanagan is on your places to visit list … make sure to keep your camera/phone ready, your eyes peeled, and your minds open …. you may be the one to spot Ogopogo!