Located in a tiny, frail village in a far corner of Newfoundland, the Inn has quickly grown to be a place the world is flocking to. The place. Not just because it’s gobsmackingly gorgeous, but because its creator, Zita Cobb, has created a new model for what tourism – and community can be.
We all thought this summer we’d really get out there and do something truly new. We’d really travel again. Treat our family. See just how gob-smackingly beautiful our country is.
Most of us were off by a year. But next year…well, next year we want you to join us on one of the easiest and most exhilarating adventures anywhere – heli-hiking in B.C.
No skill or endurance is required. Just a sense of adventure (which may have been dormant in your heart during COVID) and a desire to smell the wild roses. And just as there are no conditioning or skill requirements, there are no age limits either. You can be, 8, 18 or 81 and be enlivened by the whole thing. You can be a marathon runner or mountain climber. Or you can also be wearing your Medic Alert bracelet the entire trip, as five of us recently did. You can bring your partner, your grandkids, your bestie.
We’ve taken friends heli-hiking for the past few summers and all of them (and I mean all) have come home raving about how gorgeous, different and wonderful it all was. And from door to door, the whole amazing experience is just five summer days.
So what is heli-hiking?
It’s letting a helicopter take us up to a lodge high in the mountains…..to vistas, peaks and valleys that people simply don’t get to (or would have to spend literally days of hard slogging to reach). We stay at the lodge for four nights and hike for three full days. Late each afternoon we return to one of the most relaxing – and scenic – hot tubs in the world. Then it’s a snooze, drinks and a stupendous dinner. (Health Warning: don’t even try to lose weight on this trip. It cannot happen.)
But even better than the scenery and the meals is the company; we’re staying at Bugaboo Lodge which holds 48 people and you’ll meet some fascinating fellow travelers from all kinds of places. We’ll be about as far from the madding crowd as humans can be, and yes, we’ve booked the entire Lodge.
The trips are run by Canadian Mountain Holidays, the people who invented the sport of heli-skiing, and the art of heli-hiking. CMH has been persistently declared “The Best Adventure Travel Company on Earth” by the National Geographic Society.
The adventure officially starts at 12:00 noon on Sunday, August 28th, 2022 when the CMH bus meets us all at Calgary International for the drive directly to a farmer’s field near Invermere, B.C. From there, the helicopter flies us up to the Lodge where we hike our hearts out. On the morning of Thursday, September 1st, the CMH bus picks us up and drives us back to Calgary International where we catch our flights home.
The cost is $5,495 per person (plus taxes) for double occupancy and $6,174 for single (plus taxes) from the minute we’re picked up by CMH in Calgary until we’re returned there. It includes everything (transport, heli-hiking, guiding service, all meals, the odd surprise and even free hiking boots and raingear). The only extras are your bar charges and anything you buy in the Lodge shop. And fear not, oh you technoaddicts: the Lodge has WiFi, so you can get online and do your e-mail.
As for the value, have a look at this. Indeed, heli-hiking has been called a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and from what I hear it’s not nearly such fun after your lifetime.
So if your end-of-summer resolution for next year is to make time for discovering parts of the world and yourself you couldn’t discover last year or this, here’s your chance. Please grab it.
Just call CMH at 403-762-7100 and tell them you’re with the “Bob&Jean Group” and you want to book your place(s).
One last thing: lots of people go to the mountains; a few of them go in the mountains. But we’re going on the mountains.
So yes, Heaven can wait. But can you?
Bob and Jean
P.S. We leave it to you to make your own air bookings to and from Calgary. Remember, the bus leaves promptly at 12:00 p.m. on August 28 from Calgary International. So plan to arrive in Calgary in good time that morning (or arrive the night before). As for your trip home, please book flights that leave after 5:00 p.m. September 1st just in case there’s roadwork or rockslides on the highway coming back.