Kayaking Lake Chelan with the Ogopogo

Lake ChelanI spent a few days with my mom last week in Chelan, Washington with my inflatable kayak. For those of you who are not familiar with the area, Chelan is a small town of close to 4000 people in the Cascade Mountains in Washington bordering on a gorgeous 50 mile lake called Lake Chelan.

Before this trip I had only spent one night in Chelan (last month) on my way to Seattle and Oregon. I thought it was stunning and decided to return to do some kayaking.

As it was the beginning of May I was expecting some nice weather but unfortunately as with most of my kayak trips so far this year, the weather was less than desirable.

We lucked out and had one sunny day. Although it was a little chilly we took full advantage of it and made our way down this beautiful lake. We paddled amongst the Canadian Geese and checked out all of the beautiful summer homes along the shores.

The scenery while paddling on Lake Chelan is really lovely and serene. The lake is surrounded by mountainous jagged peaks. The higher peaks still had a dusting of snow and the lower valleys rolled around the lake giving a feeling of being completely surrounded by a presence that is rooted in history.

Lake Chelan Canadian Geese swimming away from us Old broken wharf

View more or our Lake Chelan kayaking pictures.

Tales of Hauntings

Interestingly Lake Chelan is well known for its stories of spirits and “monsters” that hang about in the lake and haunt those who use it. As I am a sucker for anything supernatural I couldn’t help but be interested in the supposed hauntings that date back to the 1800’s.

The most notorious haunting of Lake Chelan is that of the Ogopogo! I was surprised as the Ogopogo is the same “monster” that is well known to haunt Lake Okanagan where I live.

I wondered if this was the same Ogopogo and if so how does this monster travel from lake to lake when they are so far away? Then again if the Ogopogo is a spirit then I suppose he can appear wherever he feels like it.

Story of the Ogopogo

As far as the Lake Chelan Ogopogo is concerned, the story goes like this…

The Ogopogo is a monster who used to devour all of the grazing animals on what was once flat prairie land. Then the Indians who lived there and depended on the animals for their substance appealed to the Splendid Spirit to help them. Splendid Spirit threw down a large stone to kill the monster. Unfortunately the stone, instead of killing the monster, made a huge crater with mountains surrounding it. The monster was buried in one of the canyons that were created by the stone and the canyon eventually filled up with water, forming Lake Chelan. However the monster did not die. It occasionally moves its long and powerful tail, causing huge waves on the lake. The monster has been referred to as a serpent or a dinosaur and was named the Ogopogo.

Sightings of the Ogopogo date back hundreds of years with people who swear they saw the Ogopogo or were attacked by it. The same goes for sightings of the Ogopogo on Lake Okanagan. There are those who will swear to having seen and felt the presence of the great dinosaur that appears within the lake at odd times.

Luckily we saw no monsters…

Lucky for us our paddling day was calm and very enjoyable. Although I kept my eye out for the enormous Ogopogo, it seems he had no interest in bothering with us that day.

I would imagine that in the summertime Lake Chelan is packed with all kinds of boaters but on May the 4th my mom and I were the only two present on that lake. What a treat… a whole beautiful lake all to ourselves.

Plan to visit Lake Chelan?

If any of you are ever in the Washington area I highly recommend making a pit stop in Chelan and checking out the scenery for yourself. Although this has nothing to do with kayaking I just have to mention that there are two eating places that are worth the trip itself:

  • “Local Myth” is an awesome pizza joint that makes the healthiest and best tasting pizzas I have ever had in my life… seriously. Plus they are super cheap.
  • ”Golden Florins” is a fabulous café attached to Bear Market which is a whole foods market. They make crepes stuffed with all kinds of great things that are completely allergy free… no dairy, no soy, no nuts, etc., … makes for a great lunch!

The day we left Chelan it began to snow… good grief! We felt lucky to get in our one day of sunny weather and enjoyed every minute out on the lake.

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