Spotted Lake
February 15, 2012 12:31 PM   Subscribe

About 13 km (8 miles) north of the US/Canada border is Spotted Lake (Google Maps/streetview), a endorheic basin, or terminal lake. In wetter times, the lake is full, but spots are visible. During the summer months, the water level drops, leaving spots of mineral-rich water. The waters have long been considered therapeutic, and one story cites a truce in a battle to allow both warring tribes to tend to their wounded in the lake. Though a sacred medicine lake of the Okanagan People, the lake and the land around it were privately owned for 40 years. Mineral-rich salts were harvested during World War I for munitions, and decades later, the land owners were looking to mine the mud to sell for use in therapeutic spas. In 2001, the land was finally purchased by the The Indian Affairs Department and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. kłlil'xw is property of the Okanagan Nation once more.

Without context, the spots of 15.2 hectare (38 acre) lake may not seem that big, but people give the spots some scale. Though officially private property, plenty of folks trespass. If you can't make it out to see the lake in person, Flickr has plenty of pictures, and deviantart has a few more. And here are more on Panoramio.

Spotted Lake is set in a larger public park system, the South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area, which includes trails and fishing areas.
posted by filthy light thief (8 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
And as usual, there were elements to this that I couldn't track down. There are references to Chinese workers being the ones to skim salts off of the top of the lake in World War I, but I couldn't find any online references that told more about that. But I did find an interesting page on Chinese immigrants in British Columbia from the early 1900s through 1930s, specifically talking about the perception and role of the Chinese in agriculture.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:35 PM on February 15, 2012

I don't get this:
officially private property
Spotted Lake is set in a larger public park system,

I know Canada may be different, and i don't know a whole lot about the legalities, but i guess i always assumed that when something was part of a public park that it wasn't private land. I just woke up so my googlefu is failing right now.
posted by usagizero at 12:59 PM on February 15, 2012

From the BC Parks map, there is a protected area directly to the west of Spotted Lake, and a wildlife management area farther to the east. Spotted Lake is private property.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:13 PM on February 15, 2012

Wow, how neat. Thanks for posting this.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:31 PM on February 15, 2012

Thanks, I live a close drive from here (relatively speaking - it's still 4 hours), and will make sure to stop by the next time I drive out that way.
posted by sauril at 1:57 PM on February 15, 2012

LiCl is about an order of magnitude more soluble than any other column 1 chloride, so the waters of this lake are probably pretty lithium-enriched.

Given lithium's efficacy in controlling bipolar, bathing your wounded warriors in Spotted Lake might well have taken a lot of the fight out of them and made for greater peace and prosperity all around.
posted by jamjam at 2:26 PM on February 15, 2012 [5 favorites]

Wow, was surprised to see this was right next to Highway 3, have driven through here a few times without ever being aware of it. The crowsnest from Hope to Osoyoos is an epic drive, must remember to stop here next time.
posted by pascal at 10:44 PM on February 15, 2012

From the google maps link, is no one worried about what appears to be a gaping maw from hell a little to the southwest?
posted by nickgb at 7:00 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

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