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2020 Twenty: Explore Rattlesnake Island

Updated: Jan 18, 2020

OK, so yesterday was a bit heavy, but that's life. However, not EVERY day has to be like that, so today's goal is on the lighter side... filled with fun and adventure!

For locals, this goal should need no further explanation. But for anyone else, Rattlesnake Island has a lot of history, drama and mystery going on. First of all, it's an abandoned island in Okanagan Lake and obviously seeing as its an island, there is no way to get there other than on / in the water with a boat / jet-ski / canoe / kayak etc. Well here is why THAT'S a problem. Rattlesnake Island is also the alleged home of the Ogopogo.

If you don't know who the Ogopogo is, you need to come visit me here in the Okanagan, and we'll go on an exploration trip together. Ogopogo is our lake monster (similar to the Loch Ness Monster) that resembles a 40-50 foot sea serpent. Some say it's just myth or folklore, but there have been numerous sightings for over 100 years - and as recent as just last summer. Furthermore, every year there is at least one unexplained "disappearance" in Okanagan Lake. They can never classify it as a "drowning" because the body is never recovered. Usually the story goes, that buddy jumped into the lake and was never seen again. Explain that! There has even been a one million dollar reward offered for proof that Ogopogo exists.

Anyway, back to Rattlesnake Island...

In the 1970's a man named Eddie Haymour owned the island and had grand dreams of turning it into a tourist attraction. He began construction and his dream was beginning to take shape when the provincial government stepped in and shut him down and forced him to sell the island for a mere $40,000. Years later the Supreme Court ruled that the government acted “highly improper if not cruel” towards Eddie. The court awarded him $150,000 in damages, with which he proceeded to build what is now known as the Peachland Castle.

But rumour has it, and I've see pictures, that the 40 year old remains of a mini golf course can still be found on the island. I think at one point there was an active geocache there too. And I don't know what else... that's part of the adventure. So, now especially because the hike to Berg Lake won't be occurring this year, I'd like to find a friend who has a similar interest in hiking and exploring this island, or maybe even someone who has been here before and make a day trip out of it.

Perhaps this is a trip I'll do with my father-in-law or maybe this can be a spring time adventure for the #5DadsGoWild. I dunno. But one way or another, I want to end up on Rattlesnake Island this year.


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