by Kendall Hunter
I used to watch a program in the UK where two families were approached by a film crew at the airport and asked if they would swap holidays. One family was always headed to the beach, the other on a more shall we say, rugged experience. Without fail, each week (that I watched anyway) the family that came away most satisfied was the one that had opted for the adventure. The memory (Perhaps jarred by the Brits on our trip) of this program came back to me while Heli-Hiking with my two young girls in the Bobbie Burns. I knew, without a doubt, hiking wasn’t their first choice for a get- away holiday but still, I persisted with our plans. By the time we left, it occurred to me I may have tried to oversell the idea but tried to keep my hopes high for some quality bonding time with my kids.
If you’ve read some of my other blogs about our three day Short Escape you’ll understand how thoroughly enjoying the time was for me. In my mind, it was brilliant. But even now, as I sit to write another blog, I’m forced to wonder if it was as good an experience as I thought for my children. I begin to wonder how much of their feedback was about trying to please me or putting up with a trip that I’d dragged them along on? So…here it is, straight from the mouths of my daughters, I hand over the keyboard and give them the opportunity to tell you themselves what it’s like to be a kid heli-hiking in the Bobbie Burns.
This trip was mostly about fun, adventure and hilarious staff. The thing that jumped out at me the most was great food and exciting staff. I didn’t expect such wonderful and friendly staff. (do you think she liked the staff? ~ mom)
When the helicopter dropped us off in the middle of nowhere I knew this would be an adventure. The first step we took into the lodge, all the staff members were so excited. Straight away they fit us into hiking boots and gave us rain jackets and backpacks. Something I liked the most at that time was drawing a symbol on our hiking boots so we’d know whose was whose.
Gordie, the helicopter pilot is my role model. When I’m older I want to be just like him and zoom past the slopes in the Rocky Mountains. My older sister and I got to sit in the front of the helicopter with him! When it was my turn we were going over a glacier!
As I mentiond before the food was great. Robert the Swiss chef made these amazing creations. One of my favourite things he and Jocelyn the pastry chef made was homemade warm bread. My family suggested to Robert to make Roesti cause that’s what we ate all the time when we lived in Switzerland. The next morning Roesti was on the breakfast buffet table!
I liked how they put postcards in our room so we could write to friends and family to tell them all about what we got to do. It was fun being woken up by a big cowbell, I felt like I was on a farm. After a long hike we walked to the rope swing that hangs over the little pond at the lodge. Swinging into the pond was a nice way to finish off this experience.
What I remember the most is the view when we were flying over the glacier. Where we had hiked that day it was especially cool because there were rocks on one side of us with beautiful designs and then a beautiful white glacier on the other.
Sometimes when we were hiking, it was steeper than I thought and there were sometimes lots of rocks to climb but when I was finished I felt powerful. I thought our CMH guide, Thierry, was great cause he went so long without a break and took us to beautiful places. I learned a lot about nature and how beautiful it is.
In the helicopter it was nice to be high up and see down on everything. I was excited to sit in front. At first, I was a little scared to make sure I got off the helicopter alright when we landed but it worked out because the guides helped me. Also, Gordie the pilot kept the conversation going during the ride so you know what is going on.
In the lodge, the staff welcomed us and made us feel like family. Doing stretch class got us ready for the day and gave me peace in my body. The teacher was good because she went slowly from one position to the next and she chose nice music to make it work. At the lodge, lots of the food was so good I even want to have it now at home. Desserts were presented nicely and were really good!
When we weren’t hiking, there were other things to do. It was fun on the rope swing by the pond. And also going in the hot tub and playing basketball even though we didn’t play the right way cause my sister kept stealing the ball and running away. Chess was one of the big things we did after hiking, while we waited for dinner. Not having TV made us connect with other things we can do and even meet new people.
We also went to the rope park near the lodge one day instead of hiking. It was easier than hiking up steep mountains and you could enjoy being high off the ground or zip-lining. In the rope park, you had to face your fear but I also had fun doing it. I pulled a lot of funny faces doing that!
What I didn’t expect from the whole trip was for it to be so high in the mountains and to have such a good view!
So, I guess I wasn’t an overbearing mom, forcing her kids to get out and enjoy nature. Seems they were quite alright with the whole idea and wouldn’t mind a bit if we did it all over again next summer. I think we could be onto something here…