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(NEW: Added Wikipedia info about Rattlesnake Island Aug,29,2008)

R A T T L E S N A K E - I S L A N D - June 19th- 21st 2008

I headed out from Naramata
Thursday June 19th 2008 at 8:00pm
10.6km that Thursday evening.

Of course have to take the GPS like the American Express Card I never leave home without it.

Pictured here is the first camp in the morning of Friday the 20th.

A small camp with enough room here for myself and my yak. 23.5km on Friday 20th.

Passed by Squally Point: at 8:30am. on Friday 20th.

Squally Point. Native legend has it that Okanagan Lake's great sea serpent "Ogopogo" makes its home in a cave here. Small animals were carried to Squally Point in canoes to appease the serpent. Stay clear of the rock walls and watch for south winds the can appear suddenly. Good shelter is provided from north winds in the south bay. No beaching for 1/4 mile south or north... Marine Guide

I arrived at Rattlesnake Island at about 9:00am June 20th.

Wikipedia Rattlesnake Island is a small island on Okanagan Lake, located across from Peachland. The land on the shore surrounding the island is part of Okanagan Mountain Park. Many believe Rattlesnake Island is the home of the legendary Ogopogo. In the 1990s, the island was going to be developed as a tourist attraction, and a minigolf course was going to be built on it, but that plan was later abandoned. In 2003, a lightning strike near the island started the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire and several snakes from the mainland escaped the fire by swimming to the island.

As early as the 1700s, the Okanagan Indians knew of a water beast living in the lake. They called the creature N'ha-a-itk, meaning "snake of the water," and their Native superstitions demanded certain traditions before entering N'ha-a-ith's domain. One of the traditions was the ritual sacrifice of a small animal as a peace offering before crossing the lake. Tying their horses behind their canoes, they would paddle out to where they believed the serpent lived in a cave beneath the water---known as Squally Point---and make their offering, thus insuring that their horses would not be dragged under and drowned by the monster.

In 1890, Captain Thomas Shorts was steaming on the lake when he saw a finned creature about sixteen feet long with a head like that of a ram. The creature promptly disappeared when he turned his ship in its direction, and virtually no one believed him when he reported it. But other reports soon followed at two or three a year, and people began to examine the lake in more careful detail. The local population fervently believed in the creature's existence. They called it Ogopogo and named the island, Ogopogo Island.
In the early part of the 1900s it was also called "The Island".
In the 1950s it was purchased by Peter Spackman who tried to have the name Sunset Island adopted but it had, at that time, been given the name "Rattlesnake Island" because of the grass (Glyceria canadensis) that covers it. Many locals still called it Ogopogo Island but at the request of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce in the 1950s the name of Rattlesnake Island was confirmed.

The island changed hands several times until Mohammed Eddy Haymour bought it in the early 1970s and then got into a conflict with W A C Bennett and the BC Provincial Government that ended as a hostage situation in the Canadian Embassy in Lebanon. It is story that is fascinating to read and it is now a part of the history of Peachland. "From Nut House to Castle" is the title of the book.

As a result of the settlement of the Haymour case the island known as "Ogopogo Island", "The Island", "Sunset Island" and of late "Rattlesnake Island" was returned to the BC Provincial Government.

Chris Gaudet, a local plumber and avid rattlesnake enthusiast, reportedly then tried to purchase the island but his offer was rejected citing his inablitity to comply with government regulations.

From the afternoon session of the BC Provincial Legislature Thursday the 23rd of May 1974, Mr WR Bennett (leader of the opposition) asks the Minister the Hon. Mr Radford “Secondly, I'd like to question the Minister as to whether he's made any provision in his budget, or has any plans to provide access to Okanagan Mountain Park. This new park area, but something that has been worked on for years, has no official access, no regular access for the public, and is not available to them. Now that we have this area, is the Minister going to provide access to this park? Is the Minister holding any discussions to purchase Ogopogo Island as an adjunct to this park? This island has been very controversial the last few years, through both the former government and this, in trying to stop private development and waste-disposal facilities on the island. Now that it's been stalled and because of its adjacency to the park, and because the island would be a natural part of the park, is the government holding any discussions to purchase it? Will this be forthcoming.?”

The above was from Wikipedia Photos added from my trip.
June 20th Friday. The cave I slept in on Friday night was great too.

Cave Camp 3:30pm. This is a view looking out from inside the cave. The cave had some pictographs inside.

22.8km on Saturday June 21st., Started making my way back home at about 5am. Looked like rain heading my way and didn't want to get caught in a downpour, have to see if I can find a spray-skirt for this tandem still.


More pics in my album if you are interested.

Find more photos like this on
Total trip was 56.9km Here is my GPX of the trip if you are interested, it is attached to this.

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