More than just a riveting palindrome, Ogopogo swam through every year I spend in the Okanagan.
My dad came down from Vancouver to visit us one summer when we were still very young (I was six in my memory) and we camped out on the lake. Of course I knew of the monster living in the lake, every child made up stories on the playground. And Ogopogo has a longer history than Nessie, his Scottish cousin (or girlfriend if you ask some of my little friends) which even goes back to local native lore.
On one day at the lake we took a paddleboat out to the island and explored the entrance of the cave reputed to be Ogopogo’s home. It looked like it had been the aquatic party grounds for some teenagers, but as a young child I was convinced it was indeed his cave. The water was dreadfully deep and murky and there was an aura of mystery surrounding the whole thing. The silt shifted under us and for the next several years I told my friends that I knew Ogopogo existed because he swam under our boat.
Do I believe in Ogopogo now? Do I believe in the Lac Champlain monster or Nessie? The scientist in me wants to be a skeptic and deny the allegations, but the child in me speaks louder. I am a believer, if only because the legend brought so much joy to my childhood and pride in my home.