The Western Sunsetters (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) held their BC rally in Osoyoos, BC from 19-22 September, 2018, at Nk’Mip Campground. The rally was well attended, with 38 LTVs and 75 participants from all four provinces, as well as folks from Spokane, Washington and Australia. The weather was perfect, lots of sun, and sometimes cloudy and cool; as organizers rented the campground clubhouse for the three-day rally, everyone was warm and comfortable for the evening activities.
After registering in the late afternoon, everyone came together on the first evening with a Meet and Greet Pot Luck supper in the clubhouse. Old friends caught up, while newcomers were welcomed. The food table provided a great meal and a good backdrop for what was clearly a very congenial group’s first gathering.
The next day was given over to various activities: Fourteen people went on an all-day cycle around Lake Osoyoos, up to the Osoyoos Golf and Country club for a hearty lunch, and then back along the irrigation canal bike route. Eight others spent the day golfing at Osoyoos Golf and Country Club.
Thirty-five people chose the all-day wine tour: The rented bus took folks to four different wineries, the first of which included a walkabout in the Riverstone Winery vineyard, led by a knowledgable staff member who then introduced various wines to the group. The second stop was at Tinhorn Creek Winery, where the winemaker led a tasting in their barrel cellar, followed by a wonderful lunch with paired wines on the deck of their Miradoro Restaurant. The tour ended with stops at Gehringer and Hester Creek wineries, and then back to Nk’Mip for a well-earned rest.
Other folks enjoyed the campground and local environs. After supper, most of the group played Bill’s Bingo in the clubhouse, and the winners took away various prizes that had been contributed by LTV in Winkler. Great fun.
The next morning, 35 people met at the Osoyoos Desert Cultural Centre for a guided tour, which began with a film about modern First Nations’ sense of identity. Afterwards, the guide provided an excellent presentation about the history of this band, including the residential school period and its aftermath, and their recent economic rise with the creation of the Nk’Mip awarding-winning winery, resort, and campground. The tour ended with a walkabout through their reconstructed village, which included information about the First Nations’ close relationship with the land, including an opportunity to smell the essence of a pine tree. An excellent tour.
In the afternoon, a two-hour Technical Q&A was held in the clubhouse, attended by almost everyone. Two representatives from Country RV in Kelowna were invited to this event: Tony Woods, the Service Writer, and Rick Kalinocka, a Sales Rep, while a rally participant moderated the session. Many questions were asked, answered, and discussed, and much useful information was shared. Tony and Rick also brought a 2019 Wonder along, which garnered much attention after the session ended.
That evening, the rally held a wind-up barbecue in the clubhouse, with steaks, rotisserie chicken, and various salads provided by AG Foods in Osoyoos. They provided impressive service, which included delivering the food to the clubhouse, as well as lending two barbecues for grilling the steaks beforehand, and picking them up afterwards. Everyone was delighted with this meal, thanks to AG Foods.
After supper, Bob Beck, one of the participants on the recent Alaska trip gave a presentation and answered questions. Norm Lavoy, the Club Leader for the Western Sunsetters’ Travel Club, then provided a short history of the Western Sunsetters, and looked to future rallies in some or all of the four western provinces. Everyone also agreed that Nk’Mip Resort in Osoyoos was a wonderful location, but that many other great venues also are available. The evening concluded with a draw for some very generous prizes donated by Country RV in Kelowna.
At closing, the general consensus was that this rally had been very successful, both in turnout and in location and organization.