Helicopter Tours: One Heli Of A Surprise!
June 25! How is it already June 25?!? Where have the last... well, the last 6 months gone! I only have 2 more months here at CMH
before I have to go back to school in September to finish off the last year of my University degree... Now that is a scary thought!
Now, I have a bit of a bone to pick here... You see, 4 years after moving away from home to go to university, my family FINALLY came to visit me over the may long weekend this year. It took them 4 YEARS! But finally, they actually got in their vehicle and drove the 6 hours to come visit.
I figured that with such a rare occurrence, I should probably give them a reason to come visit me more often. So, with some help from our friends at Alpine Helicopters, I arranged to take my brother Scott up for a helicopter tour of the Canmore area. Both of my parents actually declined this opportunity as they would be in Calgary for the day, so I brought my cousin Peter as well.
I decided to completely surprise both Pete and Scott and so didn't tell either of them what we were doing. On the Monday of the long weekend, they would be competing in a Parent/child golf tournament at a local golf course. So naturally, as an excuse of something to do to make them leave the house, I came up with what I thought to be one of the most boring activities possible; a walking tour of the golf course.
As you can imagine, the boys were "thrilled" when I forced them to turn off their video games and movies to leave the house so that we could walk around a golf course with no intention of playing. Begrudgingly they got up off the couch and got dressed. I then forced them both to bring cameras because I told them that I would definitely want pictures of myself walking around the golf course. My brother thought this was a completely ridiculous idea and refused to bring any form of camera. Luckily for him, I had an extra which I brought for him to use.
As we got in the car to drive down to the Alpine heli-port, a Bell 407 helicopter flew directly overhead. I of course pointed out the helicopter to the boys which caused my cousin Pete to explain that there was a heli-port in Canmore. Little did he know, that is exactly where we were headed. So as we started to approach the heli-port, Pete kept trying to point out where it was. Finally we arrived at the turn and he said "Oh yeah, there is the heli-port". So of course, when I made the left turn in to the parking lot, the boys were both slightly confused. My brother, not being a Canmore local, thought that we had arrived at the golf course which just magically happened to be beside the heli-port. It was at this point when I told the boys that I thought a walking tour of the golf course was going to be far too boring, and we should probably go up in a helicopter and do it from the air. I think this just confused them even more.
As we walked in to the building and were ushered straight in to the pre-flight safety room, the boys were in a complete state of shock. They didn't really even have time to realize where we were before they were watching a film on how to walk near the helicopter and adjust your seat belts. We then proceeded to the flight deck where helicopters were taking off left right and center. It was at this point where I think the boys finally were aware of where they were. But it had still not sunk in that they were actually going to go up in one of these things! Finally, our Bell LR6 came in and landed, it was time for us to go. I think that they both thought that this was still a joke at this point... expecting me to laugh and take them walking around the golf course. But sure enough, we got in the helicopter and took off for a flight around the Spray Lakes, Mt. Assiniboine, and the golf course.
Upon return, the boys couldn't really explain what had just happened. When asked by our parents what they had done, they projected what can only be described as incomprehensible verbal excitement. Luckily they have pictures of the events, otherwise not many people would believe, or understand, what they were trying to say.
It was definitely one of those days to remember, and a pretty good story to share on a Friday afternoon!
CMH has been using Alpine Helicopters as their helicopter providers since 1981 for both HeliSkiing and Summer Adventures Operations.
Ps. In case you were wondering... We did manage to see the golf course from the air!