Tea, however, was not on my agenda. I had never been to either of Altona or Winkler and it had been decades since I had last set foot in Stonewall. When I saw this "Tea Tour" on the brochure, I instead saw it as an opportunity to explore all three communities. As I have long since learned, you are in charge of your own experience, not the tour company.
Bright and early, we headed south on PTH 75 before turning west at PTH 14.
I am old enough to remember when there used to be a truck stop at this junction.
Proceeding west on PTH 14, we passed by the nearby wind farm.
For those of you that may be unaware, PTH 75 used to be known as PTH 14 before it was renumbered in the 1950’s to match US 75 in Minnesota. Not only was it foolish to reuse the number for an adjacent highway, but it was doubly bad considering that PTH 14 actually follows Road 13N, one mile south of Road 14N. I have no doubt that PTH 14 and Road 14N are often confused with each other.
The offices of the RM of Rhineland. Like many other municipalities in the province, their offices aren’t actually in the municipality that they serve. Details, details.
As you would expect, highway signs were part of my agenda on this tour.
Some sort of sculpture in front of Friesens printers.
A fake German license plate on this Beemer.
Our next stop was North Wind Clayworks north of Altona, located on Road 5W south of Road 11N. Unfortunately, neither our tour guide nor our driver seemed sure of where the place was. Given that we were virtually in the middle of nowhere, however, one of the very few farm houses in the area was bound to be the right one. Luckily, they got it right on the first try.
First, I toured their well-manicured garden.
I then toured inside the pottery barn.
With my well-used camera, I recorded the pottery demonstration.
After spending an hour there, we were back on the highway bound for Winkler.
Passing around Plum Coulee.
There is a bypass around Plum Coulee and Garson, yet drivers on PTH 75 are still forced to go through Morris. I know that it must sound like a broken record, but the logic behind the failure to address what is the Achilles heel of the Manitoba highway system continues to baffle me.
Once we had arrived, most of the passengers had lunch at Gingerwood Lane, conveniently located next to the Triple E factory and its sweet-smelling paint fumes. As you would expect, I had my own plan and got some shots before eating the lunch that I had brought with me at the nearby Southland Mall.
I didn’t take advantage of this “splcial”:
After nearly an hour and a half in Winkler, we were back on the road, this time headed north towards Stonewall.
In Stonewall, our bus pulled up two spots behind a truck with a sticker from Gimli Ford.
We went into to the McLeod House, where I joined the group and had some tea.
Upstairs, they have a gift shop.
This is the genesis of your future garage sale.
With some extra time, I made a brief tour of the town.
Do you need a “reliner” sofa?
How about some “stationary”?
Parking restrictions in Stonewall? Can the crew from A & E’s Parking Wars be far behind?
I went off the beaten path and toured some side streets.