Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 29

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 35

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 29

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 35

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 29

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 35

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 29

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 35

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 29

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 35

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 29

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 35

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 29

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 35

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 29

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 35

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 29

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 35

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 29

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/osoyoosm/public_html/templates/js_cascada/html/overrides/pagination.php on line 35

Legends and Stories of the Okanagan

The Story of McIntyre Bluff

by Katie Lacey

To most people of the Southern Okanagan, the sight of McIntyre Bluff, looming huge and dark just south of Vaseaux Lake, is a familiar sight. The Bluff took its name from “Uncle Pete” McIntyre, a well-known figure of old-time days, who made his home at its foot. People tell a story, said to be an old Indian legend, of how ghosts came to haunt the bluffs.

It was long ago and there had been a famine in all the land around. In the Okanagan, the wild meadow grass was growing deep and thick in the valley bottom. Fish were still plentiful in the river and in the little mountain creeks, and the deer browsed in great numbers amongst the heavy growth of willows and cottonwood.

A small band of Indians, who had wandered up from somewhere to the south and east, were making their way up the valley in search of a good camping ground. They were travel-worn and weary. One night, with scant preparation for defense, they stopped to rest in a sheltered hollow behind the bluff.

It was September, when the Hunting Moon was fading and the very stars seemed to be burning dimly. The darkness of the night was broken only by the fitful gleams of the Northern Lights and the red glow of the Indians’ tiny fire. They had feasted bountifully on fresh fish speared that evening in the river, and had barbequed a young deer brought in by one of the hunters early that morning. This finished, they were lying quietly around the dying coals, when suddenly the sentry stirred. But he was too late.

From the darkness beyond them came the fierce attacking cry of the Okanagans. As one man, the little band sprang to their feet. To resist would be folly, for they were outnumbered ten to one. Only one way of escape lay open to them, for they were surrounded on three sides and the way up the back of the bluff seemed clear.

They ran swiftly in the darkness, half feeling their way, half guided by whatever fates had watched over them that night. Behind them their enemies came closer and closer. Arrows showered around them, shots at random in the gloom. No man knew what step might be his last.

When they reached the brow of the cliff, they heard a wilder yell of triumph from behind, and in the sudden gleam of lights, they saw the precipice and knew that they had been trapped.

But no, a little ledge wound down and out of sight from where they stood. Silently, in single file, they padded down it. The darkness came on again even heavier than before, and with it came death. The little ledge jutted out around a sharp corner and then abruptly ended. Man after man, without a cry, stepped off that awful height into the blackness.

The last of the fleeing band felt his way along the edge. He was old and blind, but his hands and feet could see where his eyes could not. He knew that the ledge ended and realizing the fate of his comrades, gave a low cry of despair.

Then he turned around and went back along the ledge till he faced his pursuers. With mocking cries they rushed at him, but he eluded their grasp. He stood proudly for a moment, flung wide his arms and then with a triumphant war cry of his tribe, leapt to his death below.

Many years have passed since that grim night long ago, and the crimson paintbrush flowers grow now along the trails those Indians roamed. Sometimes, people say, when the Hunting Moon is fading and the stars are dim, the Northern Lights come out and dance as of old over their rocky graves.