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Fred the Cow

Back in the early years, before Mark and I had the heli-skiing business, we’d spend our summers with Mark’s mom at their family farm. We’d help her with the busy summer chores: the haying, the calving, and general upkeep of the land. It was a good time to be with family. Even my niece Jessica, only 6 years old at the time would come stay with us from time to time.

It was not uncommon for Mark’s mom to take advantage of having us there to take a little time for herself. On this particular summer she had planned a trip to Germany. The day before we arrived one of her cows had given birth. It was a difficult delivery, requiring the vet to perform an emergency C-section. The calf was so weak the vet advised that the calf would not survive. However, Mark’s mom had other plans. She took the calf into the house, gave it a warm bath in the bathtub and fixed a comfy bed for it in the wood box next to the wood stove. She called him Fred.

The next morning, when we arrived, and just moments before she was leaving for the airport, she introduced us to the newborn calf and announced, “Oh by the way, I’ve put a diaper on Fred and you will have to change it frequently. See you in three weeks.”

Well, a calf with a diaper can test the stomach of the strongest individual. With the first diaper change, Mark announced, “I need to tell you that I don’t DO diapers” (this excuse, by the way, did not cut it when our daughter was born in 1991!). So the unpleasant task was left to me. Three weeks of diaper changes, bottle feedings and regular exercise up and down the hallway turned Fred into a thriving little calf who then rejoined the herd.

That was 1985. Mark and I still love talking about Fred and remembering that carefree time in our lives. What does that have to do with Crescent Spur Heli-Skiing? Well, we ended up buying the farm property in 1987 and started our journey of turning the farmhouse into the beautiful lodge it is today. Niece Jessica eventually became our lodge manager and Fred – well Fred became a great little milk cow and was later sold to a nearby farm with the rest of the herd. Yes, Fred turned out to be a girl (how does one make that kind of mistake?). Just a little piece of our history….