A chance to see something special
During the first two weeks of August, most every year now, there should be something rare happening in Payette Lake, McCall, Idaho. Many people have heard of these strange things around the world. The most popular strange thing is “Nessie” of Loch Ness, Scotland. This critter and similar around the world are known as cryptids, a term derived from the study of elusive or anecdotal animals or the study of cryptozoology. The third time I saw McCall's Sharley, was from Shore Lodge docks in 1969 having lunch with my Mother.
At the city of McCall, Idaho is Payette Lake. Don't confuse this lake with Upper Payette Lake which only has flying trout. Payette Lake is the home of Sharlie, seen by hundreds of people in modern times and is a long necked Plesiosaur. Native Americans have had stories about Sharlie since before recorded time and considered Sharlie as evil and dangerous.
I have watched for Sharlie all my life, half a century and I have made some critical observations from seeing Sharlie and extrapolated some very unique insights that answer some common questions. First the facts from observation: Sharlie surfaces once every three to five years, except lately, feeds both day and night remaining in this feeding mode for one to two weeks then vanishes. Sharlie is a “him” and Nessie is a “her," due to observational data. Feeding will last up to two weeks, never more, allowing a greater number of people to spot him. Since 1995 Sharley (or Sharlie depending on source) has been feeding at a minimum every August.
Some people believe that even if seen by reputable people, Sharlie –as well as Nessie—could not exist. This belief is based on modern observation, and not observations made before the food chain was obliterated with absorbed Iridium 192 worldwide. It is believed that there has to be a large population of breeders in order for the cryptids to have survived a mere 65 million years. Actually, Sharlie is a little older than that in measured years. Dinosaurs lasted over 160 million years mainly because with very little death, time went by very slowly. Environmental pressures determined who lived and died over time. Keep in mind that there are no dinosaurs close to or within the iridium layer. Who would live or die had already been decided. Easy to figure that most lifeforms on Earth will already be gone before the next Earth killer arrives. In the future geologic record just a moment of time goes by between the end of most life and the next planet killer.
You are born, you live, you die. This is true for 92% of all living species on earth. No argument there. However, for any species prior to the iridium purge of 65 million years ago, this may not be true. Many creatures and even plants were born (or sprouted) lived, matured, and stayed in that stage, mature. Of course anytime along the way any critter or plant could be killed or eaten—no unkillable supersaurs. Sharlie was hatched, grew to adulthood, and has remained there ever since. Sharlie is likely to be around 66 million years old and younger than Nessie.
Sharlie nearly always surfaces in the first week of August. Sharlie has never gone more than five years without being seen and lately nearly every year. That means that this year starting around the 1st of August, be at Payette Lake with your camera and zoom lens in hand. When done feeding Sharlie will travel along the south end of the lake from east (old Mill) to west and around to a secret point north of Shore Lodge, dive down about 20 meters and enter an under water cavern to sleep for 1 to 5 years again. When making his last cruise of the lake, Sharlie will be within 50 feet of the shore. Their is nothing more beautiful than being on a dock near the McCall Hotel and seeing that sleek six foot wide body cruize by just a foot or so under the water, or near the outlet of the lake seeing the head rise three feet above the water, and look in your direction while gliding in the water at about 10mph.
Geologist say it is just a lake formed by an ancient glacier, but I suspect the lake was their long before and the glacier moved over the top of the lake. Some spots in the lake are very deep. Near the outlet of the lake where the Payette River begins, on the McCall side of the bridge is a park for picnicking. Great place to wait for Sharley. Another great place to watch is from the Shore Lodge docks if they let you. They should have Sharley parties every August at the docks cheap enough the locals can join in.