"The best laid plans..." Our Parkland Jays original campout schedule is here.
Things never quite go according to plan.
The first camping trip of the year to the Good Sam Spring Invitational at Ferintosh included seventeen rigs from our Chapter. The usual fun and games were held including a memorable pork chop barbecue cooked on the back of a truck by a local who specializes in that sort of thing.
The two of us also stopped overnight a Miquelon Lake Provincial park since it was on the way home and weather was good.
What do you do when your collecting habit gets totally out of control? Opening a combined museum, campground, and heaven knows what works for Paul and Mary Jane Suntjens. Visitors might even get a ride in one of the antique vehicles!
Apache the Bouvier Des Flandres just wants a hug.
Could this be the guy from Emergency Road Service?
The pleasant, tree shaded little campground in Champion is often rented out to local groups for special occasions. Good showers and horseshoe pits are available. Fifteen amp. Power sites were $15.00 per night.
The very efficient parking crew had our rigs parked together in a very short time.
Les and Lorraine bringing our flag in during the opening ceremonies.
Early morning walk with dogs around Henderson Lake at 7:00 A.M.:
" Wow, this is just about the coolest thing ever! We're at something my humans call a 'Samboree' in Lethbridge and every morning a pack of us gets to walk around Henderson Lake right next to the exhibition grounds. This morning a domesticated wolf and me led the pack around the park. They even have 'doggy bag' dispensers in the park! ...Denver"
Jo and Zig signed up as new Parkland Jays. Thats Jo proudly holding the flag in the Parkland Jays group picture. An unfortunate event under the trees made Zig consider taking up bird hunting.
The usual games, tours,etc. were held. There were some problems with acoustics for the first night's entertainment but the Rocky Mountain Cloggers dance troupe did get a lot of applause.
Vikki got us in as guests at the Lethbridge Legion where we were treated to a room to ourselves with first rate food service.
Banquet: Dirty plates and the 'Beef Nazi.' The caterer had to come with the exhibition grounds and apparently had no previous experience.
The two of us made an overnight stop in Michener Park, Lacombe mainly to get out of the high winds that had developed on the trip home.
The town of Athabasca always does a great Canada Day week end with big name acts booked for the outdoor stage down by the river. It has been a favorite destination for our RV club for several years. Link: Magnificent River Rats Festival
Weather: Hot Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Heavy rain Friday night. Environment Canada issued a heavy rainfall warning for Saturday.
Wednesday: Roy had to resist the impulse to ask the three others traveling with us if that row of baseball caps on fenceposts somewhere north of Morinville were rural Tory MLA's. The W.P. Kinsella fictional characters Frank Fencepost and his buddy Silas were actually from Hobbema.
Scene: The Athabasca bottle depot:
Maria: "Can I buy that case of emties from you?
Man with Molson's Canadian empties: "Are you nuts?"
Maria: "Our campground is having a contest for the best decorated site on Canada Day and thats not my husband's brand of beer."
Molson guy: "Great idea! Here!"
Results, including a real Amarylis plant, are below left. The big flag in our other camper's picture is a former Ottawa Peace Tower flag that they won during a trip to Ontario.
Thursday, July 1. Janet and Roy visited the Strawberry tea at the (1913 Methodist) Athabasca United church. Huge portions of strawberry shortcake and what turned out to be a people friendly building with a fascinating history were the highlights of the day. The quilts on display were also wonderful. The tour guide had been a public health nurse where Roy grew up and probably gave him shots as a kid. She also knew country general store proprieter Dick Hobbs. Roy came pretty close to being born in Dick's car.
Friday: Rock day at the Town common. Kim Mitchell was the headline act.
Downtown the Show and Shine was in progress including the T Bird club's matched T-Bird and Boler trailer.
Saturday: A number of us attended the fire hall "Toony" breakfast.The rains hit some time later. We went back with a number of others to the Strawberry Tea. Later that day we managed to hold our pot luck supper in a screen tent.
Sunday: We all went for a group breakfast at the club house on the golf course just across from the campground. Roy met an old school mate in the campground after offering him help with hitching up his trailer.
"Its not pretty!"...Terry Hansen
That turned out to be an understatement for this still unfinished campground behind the tourist information centre. A very late Spring followed by heavy rains had delayed work. Our illustrious president and his wife attempted to park their fourteen thousand pound rig below but decided to dry camp on the pavement instead.
We parked with some difficulty in site 6. Shoes caked with prairie gumbo during water and power hook up, sewer inlet was higher than our holding tanks due to sites being unfinished.
Robertson & Meier arrived later due to getting lost twice. Doug & Sandra Haines, Zutz, Altmiks were already there. Altmiks had arrived on Tuesday when the mud was much worse.
Thursday: Haines' daughter Krista who works at the base got us transportation and VIP passes to the base to watch the Snowbirds come in. A fast tour of some of 4 Wing was included.
Friday: Took a side trip to the Cold Lake Provincial Park. 16th Avenue, the road to the park in Cold Lake, is a bit of a spring breaker with its many potholes or worse. The park itself is still in fine shape but the full signs were up.
Later that day seven Snowbirds flew over our campground at low altitude in their diamond formation.
Saturday:A promised shuttle from the campground evaporated so walked to the arena to catch the $2.00 shuttle buses from there. Traffic was backed up to the airport on Hwy 28.
Saturday was very hot, we lasted until around 2 p.m. and unfortunately missed quite a bit. Some pyrotechnics and high level aerobatics could be seen later from our campground.
To their credit the campground operators let us use the very nice upstairs room in the tourist information centre for our wind-up potluck supper on Saturday night.
The snowbirds finale dedicated to wives and sweethearts.
We found that the dump station our campground was not operational yet then didn't find the one at Lions Park so decided to go to Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park on Lac la Biche for a couple of days.
Jo and Zig were camped in our loop at Sir W.C. and had videos of some of Sundays air show taken from the parking lot.
Monday: Peace and quiet. We did a bit of shopping in Lac La Biche. Thunderstorm clouds came in later but we managed to barbecue between showers. A walk in the rain to Campers Beach followed much later once the lightning was gone.
Tuesday: Heavy rains all morning. We broke camp in the rain around noon then headed for Blueberry Hill RV Park at Athabasca. Weather improved enough to let us dry some things out in our site.
Note from the log: The Green Spot restaurant Peppercorn Steak is very good.
Wednesday: Headed home.
Seven rigs from our club all arrived at different times.
Thursday, 29: Barnhouse, Broere, Nielsen, Meier, Robertson arrive. Weather is good. Keith has a new horshoe set that we try out. The horshoe pitches here have posts 50 ft. apart with a ditch in between the pits making things more interesting.
Friday, 30: Hike some trails. Watch fish feeding at seven P.M.
Saturday, 31: The potluck supper in Nielsen's site works.
Sunday: Bocci ball. Rokus and John get 3 large pizzas for supper plus lots of dessert left over from last night.
Monday: The other Good Sams all leave. We decide to stay another day. A hike on trail #4 is rough going because the muskeg trail is very wet and atv damaged. Forgot the compass but noise from highway 16 is North so getting lost is not a problem.
We missed the Meneely reunion in B.C. due to just getting too broke!
Called the park but just got recording saying all reserved sites were booked but there are 26 power sites in the first come first served area. On arrival we were assigned site 54. Its quite nice but slopes down to the front so required the whole box of levelers plus most of the 'woodpile' to level the trailer.
Power sites are $20.00 per night, wood is extra at $5.00 per bundle or 4 bundles for $15.00. Weather is sunny but cool today but still better than last week's rain and cold.
We missed that one but those who attended reported that they had a good time in spite of troulble with the P.A. system. The Rimbey Fair was also on on the same date so previous information on that was erroneous.
Our Parkland Jays put this one on.
Weather was not great with the snowstorm in Wednesday but the food, games, and entertainment made up for it.
Parkland Jays choir director and sommelier Bill wanted to have a campfire sing song after all the activities on Friday. A few brave souls braved the cold for a while.
"And thats all I have to say about that!"
Roy Schmaus, December 2004