Discovering Manitoba

Yurt-ing on beautiful Rossman Lake!

"Yurt-ing" on beautiful rossman Lake!

Mark and Thomasina Charney are building a dream. It’s Thomasina’s dream, really. She is creating a back-tonature experience on the shores of Rossman lake, installing yurts and a teepee for visitors who love camping but are not so thrilled with the sore back syndrome of sleeping on the ground.

Thomasina’s yurt is built off the ground and has a queen-sized bed with a luxurious duvet, where you can nestle in and watch the stars through the glass dome. It has a comfy couch, satellite television, a fridge, and a table-top stove, not to mention baseboard electric heat for those cool nights in spring and fall. It also has a space-age, waterless-composting toilet and an outdoor shower.

While its walls are canvas, allowing the sound of nature to permeate, they are insulated to withstand winter temperatures. If you want to cook outdoors, there’s a barbecue and, of course, there is a campfire pit.

This first installation is a large, 24-foot, 450-square-feet space, which can sleep eight to 10 people. The second, coming this spring, will be 16 feet in diameter, more suitable to a smaller family. Also coming this year is a teepee, again on a platform off the ground, which Thomasina says is “really neat”. It too will be
furnished with all the conveniences. Coming soon is a cedar hot tub to be set beside the lake.

“I’m a born entrepreneur,” laughs Thomasina, mother of three small children
who are eight, six and 21/2. “My mind never stops working!” It was her idea to create this distinctive Manitoba experience on the lovely property they purchased to get away from the hubbub of bigger towns. They used to own and operate fitness businesses in Thompson and Dauphin.

“I wanted to get away from the rat race of city life,” notes Thomasina, who was born and brought up in Gladstone. So they bought a jewel box property on the shores of Rossman Lake near Rossburn. Rossburn is a small community, located just south of Riding Mountain on Highway 45.

The property is a gem and its location on the east side of the lake is a glowing setting. It is a wonderful place for swimming, fishing and even water sports. Thomasina says she thought at first about starting a  campground on the lake, but then her research uncovered the yurt idea. This captivated her imagination and the die was cast. It’s basically Thomasina’s baby. Husband Mark is off all day working in the mine at Esterhazy, Sask., about an hour’s commute away.

There is a plenty to do in the area. The Rossman Lake golf course is nearby andthere is a convenience store and a grocery store just ten minutes away. You are also very close to all the amenities of Riding Mountain National Park.

Rossman Yurts opens on the long weekend in May. Call now to be sure you get your pick of dates. You can call Thomasina for reservations at 1-204-859-2885 or email

A vacation of even a weekend here sounds like just the thing to get you away from the stress of a limping economy.

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