The road north from Kelowna is rich with lakes—Ellison Lake, Wood Lake, Kalamalka Lake, Swan Lake—it’s truly lake country. In fact, there’s a town called Lake Country, which seems a little presumptuous, but I guess they got in first with the name choices.
The lakes are probably full of Ogopogos, but I didn’t have any bait with me, so I couldn’t catch one.
That’s okay, though, because it gave me some extra time to stop at the Log Barn in Armstrong, which looks like this.
It was built in 1912, which is probably why there are still dinosaurs there.
I bought some cherries, which were quite good. I can heartily recommend the Log Barn in Armstrong, BC both for cherries and for goat viewing.
The Kelowna waterfront is touristy but nice. The lake is beautiful and sparkly. Beyond the waterfront the downtown is old and beat-up, but interspersed with high-rise condos and older buildings repurposed into restaurants and brewpubs, all of which looks very new. There are a fair number of small old houses for sale as teardowns.
And there’s a curling club, which I believe is some sort of national requirement.
Alcalde was right about the saison at the Red Bird brewery. It’s not too tart the way some of them are. I’ve had four or five saisons in my life, so I think I’m something of an expert.
I’m staying in the Hotel Zed on the waterfront, which is a ridiculously fun, unpretentious hotel that looks damn good on your Instagram, it says here. They’ve basically taken an old motel and fixed it up with flashy, retro decor. They have rotary phones in the rooms, plus instructions on how to use them. I don’t have an Instagram account, so I’ll have to put the pictures here.
When I arrived on Sunday afternoon, it was sunny and hot and there were pscrillions of tourists. On Monday morning it was a lot cooler and there was hardly anyone around except for the street people. I promenaded on the promenade and bought an Ogopogo sweatshirt.
There are surprisingly few Ogopogo-themed items for sale. Even Ogopogo Giftland had only two choices. Shockingly, the visitor’s centre had nothing on the Ogopogo at all! It was as if he doesn’t even exist!
I stayed at the Inn at St. John in Portland, Maine. It’s a well-maintained Victorian building that’s been a hotel continuously since 1897. It’s so old that it still uses metal keys.
I followed my usual well-formed plan of wandering around and looking at things.
As I was wandering, I happened across the Lobsterman statue that’s mentioned in Roadside America. It’s really more notable for its history. As maritime-themed statues go, it can’t compare to the seal-gutting statue in Copenhagen.
I also saw the Berlin Wall, previously seen in Berlin.
At the top of the hill in downtown Portland is an observatory that was built in 1807 by an entrepreneurial sea captain who set up an annual subscription service to notify ship owners when their ships were arriving. That sounded interesting, so of course it was closed for the season.
The following morning was cold and rainy with high winds, but I still walked over a mile to visit the International Cryptozoology Museum. I could have driven, but I had a good parking spot and I didn’t want to lose it.
The Cryptozoology Museum takes a very broad approach to cryptozoology. There are your serious cryptids (Bigfoot, chupacabras), the “intersection of cryptozoology and popular culture” (Godzilla, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Creature from the Black Lagoon), hoaxes and fakes (jackalopes), animals thought to be extinct that later turned out not to be (coelacanths), animals that really are extinct (mastodons, dodos), animals that are extinct but that people claim to have seen anyway (thylacines), and things that are included for no readily apparent reason (Disneyland travel posters, some antique Santa Claus figurines, a rather nice collection of tiki mugs). There’s even a display case of “cryptoscatology” with artificial (I hope) poop from different animals (and humans), plus a giant pile of Bigfoot poop for comparison.
There’s a small section on lake monsters, but the only Ogopogo items are a souvenir ashtray from Kelowna and a couple similar knick-knacks.
Sadly, they prohibit photos except of the items below. Copyright issues, according to the friendly but somewhat intense owner.
The sun came out in the afternoon and I did more wandering.
Most of downtown Portland is kind of grimy, but State Street, at the top of the hill, retains a lot of its 19th century grandeur.
The grandest mansion is the Victoria Mansion, built in the 1850s. That one has tours, but it was closed for the season.
So I went down to Wharf Street and had a Bissel Kickflip at Mash Tun.