Western Sunsetters 2020 Alberta Rally

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On March 1, 2020, we began planning a June rally in Drumheller, Alberta. By April 1, we had 20 vans booked. On May 5, we cancelled the rally due to COVID-19. However, six vans decided not to cancel their reservation at Dino’s RV Nest, our rally campground, but to wait to see what would happen. The management of Dino’s RV Nest were very co-operative and allowed anyone who booked before April 15 to get a full refund as long as they cancelled 24 hours before their reservation.

All of the original activities that were planned (tours, live theater, etc.) were cancelled and people were left to enjoy the Drumheller area on their own.

Some of our people toured the Red Deer River Valley by car, others went to visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum, which had recently re-opened, and others biked around the city of Drumheller or just enjoyed their campsite. Dino’s Nest was an excellent campground with wonderful clean showers and very friendly and helpful staff. If you are ever in the Drumheller area, I would recommend it.

Drumheller has a wonderful burger place called Bernie & the Boys Bistro that was featured on the TV show You Gotta Eat Here. Even though it was open only for take-out, I think everyone in our group got to it once for either a lunch or a supper.

Three of our guys booked a golf game at Dinosaur Trail Golf & Country Club, one of Alberta’s “Ten Courses You Must Play”. The front nine is very traditional but the back nine is more like playing on the moon. If you ever go, allow a lot of time for the back nine and bring a camera; the views are outstanding.

One of our members brought a game called Bunnock, which we played on two evenings for some friendly competition. It is played with about 50 replicas of horse ankle bones (the original game used real horse ankle bones). It is a wonderful game for camping with a group, and I invite you to google Bunnock if interested.

One our attendees had a drone and was able to take some wonderful aerial shots of the area and our campground.

On Thursday evening we enjoyed a pizza night. This was easy to do with social distancing. We ordered the pizzas and placed them on a picnic table and each person could take what they wanted without touching anyone else’s food. Thanks go to Triple E for providing the funding for our pizza party.

Our campsites were spacious and protected by trees, so each night around dusk, which was about 9:30 pm, we had a campfire in the site that had been reserved by one of our registrants from Spokane, Washington, who could not make it due the US border being closed to non-essential travel.

Our six vans were comprised of two from Calgary, Alberta, one from Westlock, Alberta, one from Ranfurly, Alberta, one from Winkler, Manitoba, and one from Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. For two of the vans, it was their first time at a Western Sunsetter LTV event, and we look forward to seeing them again. I think everyone enjoyed our little COVID-19 quasi rally.

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