The Western Sunsetters held their 2018 summer Rally at Manitou Regional Park just a little north of Watrous Saskatchewan from June 19th to 22nd. This was our 18th consecutive year at this location.
The rally started in mid afternoon on Tuesday with a meet and greet, an update on activities, distribution of name tags and a few personnel items for each coach provided by Triple E. Once everyone arrived we met for a pot luck supper in the camp kitchen adjacent to our RV sites. The evening ended with a bonfire and a few stories.
Wednesday morning began with a pancake and sausage breakfast prepared by Bill Harder and Norm Lavoy. Once everyone had their fill, we cleaned up and said our goodbyes to Bill and Helen Harder who had to return that day to Winkler MB for a family funeral. Five of the other guys headed to the golf course which was about 1/4 mile away for 9 holes of golf while others went into the Village of Manitou Beach for some shopping, sight seeing or a visit to the spa to take in the healing waters of the famous 90 year old spa. Again we ended evening with everyone around the campfire until it was time for bed.
Thursday was a casual day for everyone. Because some of our attendees were planning on leaving sometime that day we held our draw for the camp chair donated by Village RV in Regina. The winners were Jim and Patricia Cadman of Calgary AB.
Again some of the guys went golfing late Thursday morning. In the afternoon Norm Lavoy took two groups of people for about a 30 minute tour of Manitou Beach and Camp Easter Seal, then left them for about an hour to shop and explore on their own.
Thursday night there was a fire ban put in place due to the tremendous amount of poplar tree fluff on the ground. This fluff is very combustible. In fact the night before a fire started in the fluff by someone outside our area raced along in front of four of our vans, then got into some dead leaves under a tree row and the fire grew in size. Due to the quick action of some of our attendees with many pails of water we got the fire under control until a water truck arrived and really doused the area down.
Thursday night we were also treated to a display of a 1957 BMW Isetta. A camper who was about 500 yards west of our area had one with him. Sigfreid Kunzler from our group was familiar with the car from his earlier life in Germany and invited him to drop by Thursday night. The owner ordered it new in 1957 and it was shipped to him in a crate from Germany with some assembly required. He has maintained it ever since and for a 61 year old car it is in excellent condition. A few of us even got to ride in the car.
Thursday evening ended with what I call Bill’s Bingo, a bingo game played with playing cards. Each Bingo winner received a small prize provided by either Triple E or our Travel Club.
Again as the sun went down we gathered in a big circle outside, this time without a fire, and just enjoyed the evening and the company.
Friday morning we casually met in the camp kitchen for coffee and breakfast before cleaning up the kitchen and readying our units to hit the road as our rally had come to an end.
This year for the entire rally we had wonderful warm, sunny weather with very little wind. Poplar fluff was the only negative over the 4 days.
We had 12 coaches and 25 people in attendance. This years participants were: Bill & Kris Stone of Vancouver; Mark Spencer, Bev Sitter, Jim & Patricia Cadman, Brian & Pearl Cooke all of Calgary; Bill & Sharon Ferby of Lethdridge AB; John & Rose Travers of Rocky View AB; Joe Toes of Regina; Norm & Hazel Lavoy of Shaunavon SK; Bill & Helen Harder of Winkler MB; Sigfried & Madeline Kunzler and Barry & Lorraine Abbott all from Winnipeg, as well as Paul & Kim Andre of Steinbach MB.
Nine vans arrived at the Pioneer Bay Campground in Pinawa Manitoba on Monday June 12 for our second Western Sunsetter Rally of the year. We had eight vans from Manitoba and one from Saskatchewan
The Pioneer Bay Campground which served as our home base is a big campground filled with annual sites; however the owner had just completed nine small sites in an area close to the beach for use by overnight campers. We crowded our nine vans into those sites and it was quite cozy.
Everyone had pretty much arrived by 4:00 pm and got acquainted with each other. That evening we had a lovely pot luck supper served in a fitness gym that was right next to our campsites. We are grateful to the owner of the gym who allowed us to use her facility in the evenings for meals and games.
After supper a campfire was started and Klaus Trampe and his wife Ghislane entertained us with their beautiful voices and Klaus’s skilled guitar playing.
Tuesday morning we enjoyed a pancake and sausage breakfast prepared by Bill Harder and George Gibson. In the afternoon a foursome of golfers headed to the Pinawa Golf & Country Club for 18 holes of golf on one of the top rated public courses in Manitoba.
In the late afternoon we all trekked down to the pier on the beach where two pontoon boats picked all 18 of us up for a river cruise on the Winnipeg River. The scenery was amazing. The pontoon boats stopped at the golf course on our way home for a lovely supper in the dining room and then returned us to our campground.
Rain was now threatening so we adjourned to the gym were we played “Bill’s Bingo” for a variety of small prizes provided by Triple E. For some reason one table of players seemed to dominate in winning most of the prizes.
On Wednesday we had a tour pre- arranged of Old Pinawa, the Hydro-dam site that was built in 1906 but ceased operation in 1951 but it’s concrete ruins resemble an ancient Roman coliseum; the 54 metre long and one metre wide Suspension Bridge; and modern Pinawa a town built in 1963 to house employees of Atomic Energy of Canada’s Whiteshell Research Laboratories . The forecast called for about an 80% probability of steady rain. Because a lot of this tour would be on uneven rocky ground, we cancelled the vans that were to transport us. Well you can never fully trust the weatherman and shortly after we cancelled the vans the weather cleared. Several of our attendees went out on their own to take in the attractions previously mentioned.
That evening we sat down in the gym again to a wonderful supper of perogies, ham and cabbage rolls arranged for us by our hosts Joan and Dale Lidfors.
Again that evening we were able to enjoy a bonfire but temperatures were cool and you needed a sweater or jacket.
Thursday morning we again awoke to rain and so our outdoor pot luck breakfast had to be cancelled. As the morning progressed the weather cleared a bit and we all said our good byes as we headed out to new adventures.
Our thanks and gratitude go out to Joan and Dale Lidfors who organized this wonderful LTV Rally for us.
Western Sunsetter 2017 Saskatchewan Rally
Manitou Beach Regional Park
June 20 – 23, 2017
This was our 17th consecutive year of having our Western Sunsetter Saskatchewan Rally at Manitou Beach. We were pleased to have 11 vans in attendance, with three from Alberta, three from Saskatchewan, two from British Columbia, two from Manitoba and one from Washington State.
Several of the vans arrived a day early. I was pleased to see three vans already parked in our area when I arrived on Monday June 19th. These were all new people to a Saskatchewan rally so we soon had some new friends.
Tuesday the rally officially started with the arrival of another eight vans. Those that arrived early enough put together a foursome for 9 holes of golf in the afternoon. That evening we all met in the large camp kitchen that was in the centre of our reserved area to enjoy our traditional pot luck supper. That evening we held a draw for two lovely camp chairs donated by RV Village in Regina. Thank You RV Village. Bill Harder and Hazel Lavoy were the winners. The evening ended with fellowship around the evening campfire.
On Wednesday morning Bill Harder and Norm Lavoy joined forces to serve everyone a pancake and sausage breakfast. If you have not experienced one of Bill Harder’s special pancakes you have not had the world’s best pancake. One pancake is a meal in itself and each one probably contains ¼ cup of berries
Due to the big breakfast no one really needed any lunch. Some of our rally participants went across the road to play golf at the Manitou Beach Golf Club. Others went for a hike or into either the town of Watrous or the resort village of Manitou Beach for some sightseeing and shopping. We ended the evening with Bill’s Bingo and several people walked away with some nice prizes donated by Leisure Vans.
Thursday was a rainy day so people participated in indoor activities. Some went into Manitou Beach to enjoy the spa and hot pools; others toured the famous Danceland that is still going strong with dances every week, 89 years after opening; and others went to see Camp Easter Seal a camp for disabled persons. That evening the skies cleared long enough for us to enjoy a supper of BBQ’d burgers, potato salad and Texas watermelon put on the by Travel Club. We ended the evening with some card and board games before retiring.
On Friday we all met for a breakfast of coffee, t-biscuits and jam before cleaning up the camp kitchen and preparing our vans to hit the highway for new adventures.
Before leaving the campground I reserved 14 sites surrounding the camp kitchen for our 2018 rally that is currently scheduled for June 19 to 22 of 2018. Mark you calendars if you may be interested in attending the longest consecutively running LTV Travel Club rally in North America.
Western Sunsetter Chapter Co-ordinator