John, Stephanie and Ryan hungrily ate the burgers that Meg barbecued. They all had time to catch up on what had transpired in each other’s lives since the last time they were altogether. After lunch everybody went for a nap.
Ryan was so exhausted after the long car trip that he slept for two hours. When he arose it was close to 4:00 PM. Ryan pulled a Rockstar Energy drink out of his back pack along with his mp3 player. While he drank the Rockstar, Ryan listened to Led Zeppelin’s, The Song Remains the Same. This had always been his favorite album by Led Zeppelin. His favorite track was the live version of Stairway to Heaven.
When he felt fully awake again, he headed downstairs to Aunt Meg’s living room. The others were all watching an episode of X-Factor that Meg had recorded. It was one of those episodes where the judges were auditioning potential contestants and some of the performances were horrible. Ryan wasn’t that interested in watching the show. He told the others that he was going out for a jog and would probably do some exploring.
A couple of minutes into his jog, Ryan turned around to see a very attractive young woman wearing a B. C. Lions jersey. She asked Ryan if he minded having some company on his jog.
Ryan told her that he would be delighted as he was just vacationing in Kelowna and really didn’t know anyone besides his family and relatives.
“Let’s stop for a few minutes and talk,” the attractive, young female jogger suggested. “We should introduce ourselves. My name is Monique Painchaud. I’m from Montreal, Quebec.””
Ryan stopped running and extended his hand, “Pleased to meet you. I’m Ryan Richards from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Obviously you speak English, Monique.”
“That’s right. I’m fluently bilingual in both French and English. I have just been in Kelowna for a week. My mother lives in Kelowna and I spend the summer months with her. During the winter months I attend university and live with my dad in Montreal,” Monique said.
“I hate to be so blunt, but are you married or do you have a boyfriend?” Ryan asked.
“Neither,” Monique replied. “How about you?”
“The same. I’m a free agent right now,” Ryan said.
“Free agent, eh,” Monique laughed. “You must be interested in sports.”
“I am. I played both hockey and football at my high school. I just graduated this year.”
“What are you going to do in the fall?” Monique asked.
“I’ve applied at The University of Manitoba and intend on trying out for both their football and hockey teams.”
“What area of studies do you want to major in?” Monique asked.
“Education. I’m signing up for the four year Bachelor of Education degree.”
“So you want to be a teacher?”
“That’s plan B. I’d rather be a professional athlete,” Ryan said.
“You’d make a lot more money. That’s for sure.”
“What do you study at university, Monique?”
“I’ll be starting my third year at The Faculty of Education.”
“Ah, so we’re looking at two future teachers here,” Ryan said.
“Hey, Ryan, there’s a diner about a mile from here. Do you want to stop there for lunch?”
“That sounds like a plan to me.”
Ryan and Monique jogged very well together as they were both in excellent physical condition. After about five minutes had elapsed, Monique glanced to her right to take a look at Lake Okanagan. About fifty meters away she saw a large object moving in the water. It appeared to be black in color and had a cylindrical shape. To Monique, it looked like a living creature. She knew it was not a boat.
Monique stopped jogging abruptly and turned to Ryan. “Stop Ryan. What’s that in the lake?”
Ryan stopped running and turned his head to look toward the lake. “I’m not sure, but it definitely looks like some kind of animal.”
“Look it’s moving in undulations and looks like some kind of whale,” Monique observed.
“As far as I know there aren’t any whales in Lake Okanagan. At least any that look like that,” Ryan said.
Ryan had a pair of powerful binoculars in his back pack. He took them out and got a close up view of the creature in the water. Ryan felt chills when he saw the animal’s head surface. “I know what it is now,” he said in a shaky voice.
“What is it?” Monique asked.
“It’s Ogopogo. The First Nations people called it the lake demon.”
“You mean it’s the real live version of the toy things they sell to tourists in the local stores?” Monique asked.
“It has to be. I’ve never seen a fish or other animal that looks like that creature in the lake. Do you have a camera, Monique?”
“Yes, I do. I have a digital Samsung in my back pack. I’ll take a picture of it.”
Monique quickly took out her camera and snapped two pictures of the animal. Just after she took the pictures she saw a fishing boat about one hundred meters away. The creature then submerged back into the lake.
“Wow, you took those pictures right on time,” Ryan said. “Let’s have a look how they turned out.”
Ryan and Monique both studied the preview pictures on her camera. The creature appeared to be very small and a great distance away.
“Well, your pictures will never stand as conclusive scientific evidence of the existence of Ogopogo, but at least we know what we saw and have pictures to back it up,” Ryan said.
“Did you believe in Ogopogo before you saw it today?’ Monique asked.
“I did, although this was my first actual sighting of the creature. My dad and I have both been interested in cryptozoology for years.”
“What’s cryptozoology? Monique inquired.
“It’s the study of unknown species like Bigfoot and The Loch Ness Monster.”
About an hour later Ryan and Monique stopped running when they approached a Tim Horton’s coffee shop. When they entered the shop it was quite crowded. They managed to find two empty seats next to two middle aged gentlemen. The two men were engaged in an animated discussion.
“Henry, what do you think that thing was that we saw in the lake?” Harvey asked.
“It’s hard to say. It was too far away,” Henry replied.
“All I’m saying is that there have been several reported sightings of Ogopogo over the last month,” Harvey said.
“That doesn’t mean anything. A few years ago there were a bunch of ufo sightings over Brazil. Nobody captured any ufos.”
“That doesn’t mean that ufos don’t exist.”
“I suppose not, but I’m not going to go around telling people that we saw Ogopogo today,” Henry said.
“I agree that whatever we saw was over one hundred meters away, but it appeared to be approaching fast and then it suddenly submerged when our boat came around the corner,” Harvey said.
“That’s what is known as circumstantial evidence,” Henry said in response.
“Maybe not,” Ryan said turning around in his chair.
“What do you mean, son?” Harvey asked adjusting the blue lumberjack jacket that he wore over his black tee shirt.
“I’m sorry. We should have introduced ourselves. My name is Ryan and my new friend to my left is Monique.”
“Pleased to meet you,” Henry said. “But you still haven’t answered our question.”
“Was your fishing boat anywhere near Rattlesnake Island about an hour ago?” Monique asked.
“Yes, it was. How did you know?” Harvey said.
“Monique and I were jogging on a trail near the bank close to Rattlesnake Island. Monique had just taken two pictures of the creature you saw when your boat rounded the corner,” Ryan said.
“How do you know it was a living creature?” Henry asked. He pushed his chair closer to the table.
“Oh, it was a very large, living animal all right,” Ryan said also moving his chair closer to the round table.
“It certainly wasn’t a boat or a log. I managed to take a couple of pictures of it before it submerged,” Monique added.
“Fortunately I had a pair of professional grade binoculars. I got a good close up look when the creature raised its head,” Ryan said.
“You got a look at its head? Can we see those pictures?” Harvey asked.
“Yeah, no problem,” Monique said.