Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Could It Be?

With reference to my post Window of Opportunity, where tourists felt there were Alligators around Cameron Lake...I direct you to a story in the Parksville Qualicum News entitled "Mystery within Cameron Lake".

Perhaps those tourists weren't far off.

Having grown up near Cameron Lake, I have heard many stories over the years. It can be an eerie, dark Lake, when the weather acts up...the traveler comes upon it rather suddenly, as he journeys along the highway. And there it is...a large, deep body of water between two Mountains...the highway carved out of one steep side, and the railway on the other.

At one end, there is a sandy beach, enticing many people to stop, have a picnic, perhaps swim. But the water is cold, if the swimmer goes out very far...the lake drops off to depths unknown. It is startling to swim there, seeing the pebbles and stringy weeds on the floor of the lake...and then suddenly nothing but inky, black depths of water beneath.

There is a lodge here and campgrounds. Many of the sites have been in the same family for years...there is a great contingent of loyalty towards the Lake by a number of people.

Numerous stories abound about the mysteries of the Lake. Some say the bottom has never been measured...that it has never been found. There are stories of cars disappearing into the depths, never to be seen again. There is the story of the man drowning in one of the adjacent lakes and turning up in Cameron Lake.

And then, there is this story...about a strange creature living in the Lake. I can attest to the wake or wave action...I have witnessed it myself. However, I have always assumed it was a current or something similar; it was a phenomenon that was just there.

The highway that runs along it is narrow and windy, with large overhangs. It can, if you are not used to it, make adrenaline run faster...large semi-trailers moving towards you on this road can make perspiration a permanent friend.

As a child, when we traveled around the Lake, I would hide so that I would not see it. And my granddaughter did the same.

Tell me when we're past the Lake, Nammy...this refrain echoes in my ears from years past, when I drove her along it. She would be huddled in the backseat of the car, in younger years, even under a blanket.

She would get pictures in her mind, she told me then. Pictures of a deep, dark, bottomless hole, where there was no hope. And no one knew what to expect.

I asked her the other day if she still felt the same. She's twelve now, very precocious and wise.
She sits beside me, in the passenger seat, straight and tall and beautiful. She says...Yes, I do...very firmly.

She says...I can't get past it...the Lake frightens me.

Hmmm...this from a young women who has family that lives on Sproat Lake, a larger Lake than Cameron...but not as deep. And, as a result, she lives in the Water in Summer. She is water-wise...she has respect for it in all its moods.

On a sunny day, nothing can parallel the awesome splendour of this sparkling Mountain Lake. The Waters hug Mountain's lap...deep, sapphire blue meeting forest green.

Driving past, it is easy to be mesmerized by the beauty; attention, however, must be given to the highway, as many find to their peril. The highway running along the Lake is the only passage to the West Coast of the Island. As a consequence, it is extremely busy, with everything from RVs, semi-trailers, buses, log trucks, cyclists, motorcycles and cars moving along its narrow surface.

I have traveled this road since childhood. I have seen the Lake in all its moods...swollen and raging, an oily, dark, heavy gray, dashing its Waters across the road, trying to pull the unwary in...

I have watched it on a sunny day in Winter, with a cold North Wind whipping up the Waters to whitecaps...feeling the freshness of this Lake deep within.

I have driven past when families swelled the beach, the laughter of children echoing between the Mountains, clearly enjoying the cold, crisp Waters and the warm Sun.

There are many Lakes on the Island. None stir up emotion in me as much as Cameron Lake. I love it and am wary of it, at the same time.

Perhaps there could be prehistoric Alligators in the Lake...

14 comments:

  1. I notice that the news story mentions Loch Ness in Scotland. I've been there several times and on one occasion we saw what appeared to be the monster's neck, sticking out of the water at an angle, moving along by the opposite bank at the same speed as a nearby car. I've no idea what it was, but it might have been a more credible monster if there had been a head! After all, I've never seen any claims that the Loch Ness Monster is headless. But even so, almost exactly forty years on, I still find myself wondering what that was.

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  2. The row of car tyres description sounds very similar to the Loch Ness monster sightings. It sounds as if some of the lakes could be connected by underground rivers. Interesting story though.

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  3. Simon,

    These experiences stick with us. That Loch Ness Monster has been around for a long time, whether it is myth or not. And you actually saw it!

    Well, maybe it was his tail you saw, sticking straight up as his front groveled around below. Maybe it just has eyes, which you couldn't see. I'm sure there could be any number of reasons why it was headless...but I bet it was the Monster!

    Davem,

    The Lake lies on the Pacific Fault line, which gives added powerful energy to the whole thing. No telling what happens deep beneath the shining, pristine waters way down there!

    DB,
    Lol! It was successful, then!

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  4. Your post reminded me of my experience when I was a Loch Ness also. We didn't see anything like a monster, but we felt a presence there, much like you are describing. Something ancient, deep and mysterious and I can understand the fear anyone can feel from a lake.

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  5. When I was a child we went on a vacation to central Florida, where Silver Springs is. We stayed at a little motel one night that had a small lake across the road from it. I begged and begged until Mama and Daddy let me go in the water. I remember distinctly that the water was dark, not clear, but I don't mean dirty - just dark, like the bottom was pitch black or something.

    I'd been there just for a short time when the manager of the motel came running wildly across the road, yelling at my parents to get me out of the water. It seems it was a bottomless spring, with only a very narrow shelf of shallow water around the edge. I never forgot that feeling of finding out how close I was to such danger.

    I look back now and wonder why there were not signs posted!!

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  6. I felt a sense of foreboding just reading your description, Marion. Few places creep me out but this one sounds like it might. The lake near us has clear water but many deep areas where the anchor of our boat often falls short of the bottom. Why does that unnerve me so? I much prefer to swim where I know the bottom is near.

    I love your granddaughter's name for you.

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  7. like something outa stephen king... *goosebumps*

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  8. like something from a stephen king... *goosebumps*

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  9. I don't discount any theory that can't be disproven. You just never know.

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  10. See you later alligator

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  11. Jan,

    There is certainly an air of mystery about the Lake...we took a relative from Scotland to the Lake on the weekend...and he said it reminded him of Scotland's lochs, exactly.

    DB,

    Wow, what an experience. I wonder how many other children wanted to play in the little lake...how frightening for them!...before the owner posted a few signs or fence.

    But that dark, deep water sounds like Cameron Lake!

    Sheila,

    When I can see the bottom of a Lake as I swim, I still feel in control and balanced. And then, when it gets deeper and darker, when it feels as if a void has suddenly appeared, when my nightmare imagination takes control, reminding me of dark creatures grabbing my ankles in bed during the black of night, fear takes control...against the unknown.

    My granddaughter couldn't say Grammy...so I became Nammy. I love it, too.

    Alison,

    That's very high praise, indeed. Stephen King is one of my idols...I love his writing.

    Years ago, when my children were small, I would tell stories to them, all holding an element of suspense. Nothing held their attention like a scary unknown being somewhere in the story.

    It is so much fun for me to write with the element of suspense!

    Barbara,

    I totally agree with you...I try always to keep an open mind.

    By the way, I visited your site; thank you for profiling the private security companies. I honestly had no notion they were even there. You gave me some valuable insight.

    Dave,

    In a while, crocodile! Bet you knew I'd say that.

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  12. Marion, I love a good monster story, my only problem with stories about Loch Ness or Big Foot, is that there are millions of paranormal and monster seekers out there with thousands of dollars worth of equipment, some of which is very high tech, and yet no one ever takes a decent photo of such a creature. The photos are always blurry or vague. Also with sonar and other water finding devices available, even in a lake as big as that with a seemingly bottomless bottom, you would think by now someone would come up with actual proof! lol

    But I do agree there are mysterious "things" out there.

    And -Sheila, I am scared of swimming in lakes or the ocean .. I have watched way to many horror movies I think. :)

    Great Post Marion!

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  13. Matt,

    I've always wondered the same, about the photographs taken of these beings. It does make a good campfire story, though!

    Nothing like a little chill running down my spine, on a dark night around a fire, lol!

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