Elise Héon credits her survival to the keen ears of a dog named Pebble.
The Toronto doctor had been stranded on a ledge in a canyon in Arizona for almost 24 hours when her screams for help finally attracted the attention of a nearby dog and its owners.
“It took a while for them to realize that the dog was barking because of me. So I had to make the dog bark and bark and bark and bark again,” she recalled in an interview.
Several hours later, the 50-year-old was finally rescued – injured, dehydrated and cold.
Dr. Héon, who is the chief ophthalmologist at the Hospital for Sick Children, was in Arizona for a relaxing spa vacation. Instead, she became stranded in remote Oak Creek Canyon after she lost track of a pine-needle-covered trail during a morning hike Thursday outside Sedona.
“You know when you start imagining a trail? So I went around and around and at some point I realized that I had no clue where I was going and I had to go down,” she said.
Dr. Héon, who could see a road and houses in the distance, improvised her descent down the canyon, rock climbing in sneakers, a T-shirt and cropped pants and sometimes hanging onto tree branches to lower herself. At one point, she lost her grip and fell about 15 metres, injuring her knee. She gave up after encountering a cliff that was so steep she couldn’t hear rocks land when she threw them over the ledge.
So she started yelling – and waiting. She cleaned up her “camp,” a narrow triangular ledge with a cave about 200 metres from the bottom of the canyon. She didn’t have any food or water, so tried to conserve her strength, taking short naps as night fell. Mostly, she worked on her plan to be rescued, thinking about how to project her voice further so someone would hear her.
“I didn’t panic. I had to troubleshoot and I was determined to get out of there. I had decided there’s no way I was going to die. But I knew it could happen. But I would do everything for it to not happen. So the whole night, that’s just what I thought of, just saying, ‘How am I going to get out of there?’”
Without her knowledge, authorities had been alerted by staff at her hotel, who became concerned by 11 a.m. on Thursday, when she didn’t check out of her room, which still contained her wallet and cellphone.
Search-and-rescue crews began looking for her when an employee recalled her asking about nearby hiking areas. When the sun rose on Friday morning, Dr. Héon says she was even more “determined to be heard,” having preserved her voice by chewing on grass and pine needles to maintain a source of saliva. Finally, her screams for help attracted Pebble’s attention.
What Dr. Héon didn’t know is that Sally Gebler, Pebble’s owner, initially heard one of her screams, but doubted what it was until Pebble, a three-year-old mutt, started barking. “I know her behaviours and I know when something’s different and when I really need to pay attention,” said Ms. Gebler, a 56-year-old office manager. “When she barked, it’s like we need to do something.”
At that point, Ms. Gebler’s husband Tom grabbed his GPS unit and hiked in closer to Dr. Heon.
“I said, ‘I found you, I know where you are.’ I heard her starting to cry. She’s like, ‘Please help me.’ And then she said she didn’t want to die,” said Mr. Gebler, a 53-year-old interior designer, who passed on the co-ordinates to two sherriff’s deputies.
But Dr. Héon still had to wait for hours before search-and-rescue teams pulled her off the ledge.
A rescue team stayed at the bottom of the canyon while a helicopter came and went because of high winds. “I would sob, ‘They dumped me,’” she remembers. She could still see the rescuers, which reassured her. But at another point, they disappeared, but she took solace in knowing that an ambulance didn’t move.
Finally, around 4:45 p.m. on Friday, a team of paramedic rock climbers reached her by rappelling down the canyon. One persuaded her to climb up 15 metres so she could be rescued by helicopter – a feat she didn’t think she could manage.
“I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to do that.’ And he just looked at me with a smile and said, ‘Yes you will. I’ll help you.’ And he says, ‘We will go back up together and it’ll be fine. You’ll see, it’ll be fun.’”
Back in Toronto, Dr. Héon is nursing her knee but thankful to be alive. “It’s a happy ending. I’m extremely grateful.”
The grand-prize winner will receive their choice of two prizes: either a spa vacation in Sedona, Arizona organized by a sponsor or a $5,000 Visa gift card that you can use to create your own dream vacation.
Entry into My Coke Rewards’ Diet Coke Spa Experience Sweepstakes is open to US residents aged 13 and up. Enter up to 100 times daily through February 28, 2013.
The Spa at a Cranwell features a glass-enclosed pool
“A must visit if in the Berkshires…This is the perfect place for a getaway. My daughter and I have enjoyed coming to Cranwell for our getaways for the past few years…” — Trip Advisor Reviews
(PRWEB) January 29, 2013
Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club, in the heart of the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts, announced that they have extended the top-selling Serenity Sunday special through the end of April. Guests seeking a relaxing spa experience will pay only $159 per room on select Sunday nights, plus they receive 20% off spa treatments. Spa-goers will also have complimentary spa use including the glass-enclosed heated indoor pool, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms and fitness center. A choice of over 50 spa treatments is available and there is a variety of fitness class offerings from yoga and aqua classes to spinning and Zumba® (additional fees for classes).
About Cranwell Resort, Spa Golf Club
Cranwell is located just over two hours from New York City and Boston in the historic New England village of Lenox, Massachusetts. This award winning resort features 114 distinctive guest rooms and suites, an 18-hole Championship golf course set on 380 hilltop acres, and is home to one of the largest resort Spas in the Northeast. With three restaurants and spacious banquet rooms, Cranwell also hosts numerous year-round conferences, weddings and social events.
Cranwell Resort received the Condé Nast Traveler: 2011 Readers’ Choice Award and is listed in Zagat’s “Top U.S. Hotels, Resorts Spas”. Additional recognitions include SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Award for one of “Best Spa Resorts for Golf” and the Wine Spectator Magazine Award for Excellence.
Cranwell is a partner with Stash Hotel Rewards®, an innovative hotel rewards program that enables travelers to quickly earn free nights at distinctive, independent hotels without blackouts or expiration date restrictions. The resort is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ brand and is also a long time member of Historic Hotels of America, which preserves the authenticity of over 200 of America’s most prominent historic hotels and inns.
There are only a few days left until Christmas, and let me tell you, I’m totally not ready. I could use a relaxing getaway. That’s why I’m pretty excited at the chance to win a relaxing spa vacation and other prizes from Women’s Health Magazine – December Sweepstakes.
The grand-prize winner will receive a trip for two to Utah for a vacation at the Red Mountain Resort in Utah including spa treatments, fitness classes, meals, and more. The prize is worth $3,290.
In addition, daily winners will receive prizes like earrings, Bluetooth speakers, GPS Sport Watches, and more.
Entry into Women’s Health Magazine’s December Sweepstakes is open to US residents aged 18 and up. Enter daily through January 1, 2013. Read more…
It started off as a bad day. In fact, it started it off as a very bad day that I didn’t imagine could possibly end up involving Justin Bieber.
A week of calamities including a car accident and the end of a long-distance romantic liaison culminated in my arrival at LAX International Airport in a rented Toyota Yaris just in time for a noon flight to Phoenix. I was actually en route to Sedona for what I hoped would be a relaxing spa weekend at L’Auberge de Sedona, but to say that the kickoff to my journey was a trifle bumpy would be a bit of an understatement.
While standing in an unusually long TSA line that wound around the airport, I received a notification on my phone indicating that my flight had been delayed by an hour, which was not much of an issue since it was clearly going to take longer than I had anticipated to clear security. However, when I arrived at the gate I discovered that my flight had been delayed for yet another hour. No problem , I thought, I’ll grab some lunch and do a little work. I later returned to the gate to find that my flight had not only been delayed yet another hour but cancelled.
So after spending nearly three hours in the airport post my scheduled departure time (which is, for the record, about three times the length of the flight to Phoenix) and being lectured about the beauty of Sedona by a bubbly flight attendant with an unnaturally immobile smile, I was given two $6 meal vouchers along with a $50 flight voucher and told by the airline that they could put me up in an airport hotel near my house overnight and get me on a morning flight to Arizona via Salt Lake City that would finally park me in Phoenix a full 24 hours after my originally scheduled arrival time. Now, I could be snarky here and mention the airline but I won’t be, because the truth is that even good airlines have bad days. So I’ll just say that this was not the friendliest day for the airline in question and leave it at that. However, as I sat there seething while mulling my options, it was clear that what was meant to be a long, relaxing weekend was rapidly deteriorating into a short, stressful one. But in an extraordinary tale of a negative situation giving birth to something positive, the day took the most unexpected and unusual turn.
Clearly I was not the only one left in the lurch by the airline’s cancellation. There was also my colleague and a line of other passengers for whom a night at LAX was not a premium option.
One of those passengers, however did an amazing thing when, after exhausting all of his options for getting to Arizona that afternoon, he booked a private jet and offered to give six random folks from the cancelled flight a lift to the Grand Canyon State. That passenger turned out to be music mogul Scooter Braun, manager of Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen and The Wanted.
In a world, where people rev up the engines in their cars when you need to change lanes on the freeway and never bother to say ‘thank you’ when you hold a door open for them, it was a grand and generous gesture. However, in a city like Los Angeles where larger than life egos, surly bouncers and velvet ropes are on display in abundance, it was a miraculous gesture…and one that to be honest I was completely skeptical of at first. Initially, I thought to myself, who is this guy and why is he being so generous? But the fact that Scooter Braun is in fact a salt-of-the-earth, class act was reinforced when he invoked his mother’s name in his assurances that he had every intention of doing exactly what he had offered. In my experience that is always a sign of sincerity.
Besides, having no better option for getting to Arizona before the next day, I went with the offer and as a result had an experience that reminded me of the spirit of giving and how sharing whatever one has can have a profound ripple effect on the lives of the people we touch. In Scooter’s offer, there was no catch and nothing crazier than a good Samaritan picking up a few strangers whose car had broken down on the side of the road. Only in this case it was a plane and not a car that was broken down.
My colleague and I were traveling for work as were some of the other passengers on that jet that day, but others were traveling to celebrate hallmark birthdays and say goodbye to loved ones. But for the kindness of one person wanting to ‘pay it forward’, not only would I have missed out on my much needed weekend of relaxation, my fellow travel companions would have missed the special, irreplaceable moments around which their entire trips had been built. The fact that they were now going to have those experiences probably touched me most of all because in my mind the joy of living well lies in the power to give back or extend a helping hand – something that Scooter Braun did with understated grace…no quid pro quo required or requested.
Within an hour of our flight being cancelled, a shuttle from Atlantic Aviation had whisked us all over from the main terminals at LAX to their perfectly comfortable and infinitely more peaceful private terminal just minutes away. And in less than 45 minutes or so, a jet was fueled and ready to take us to Arizona. The pilot came and took our luggage, loaded up the jet and then we all made our way down the runway and onto the plane. And off we went with minimal interruption in our travel plans.
As I settled into my seat after takeoff, I looked around at my motley crew of travel companions and marveled at just how dramatically things can change in a matter of hours. More importantly, I thought about the power of human kindness and the fact that little miracles really do happen every day — even at LAX.
The feedback we receive from guests and locals is always positive and I’m thrilled the team has been recognised for their hard work
Port Douglas, Queensland (PRWEB) October 10, 2012
Mii Spa day spas at the Sea Temple resorts in Port Douglas and Palm Cove have once again taken top line honours in the 2012 Pevonia Awards.
Mii Spa at Sea Temple Resort Spa Palm Cove has won Resort Spa of the Year, while the Mii Spa at Sea Temple Resort Spa Port Douglas took out Resort Spa Design of the Year and the Spa Performance Excellence award.
General Manager for Sea Temple Resort Spa Palm Cove which boasts 5 star Palm Cove accommodation, Mike McManus, said the award was testament to the dedication and professionalism of his Mii Spa therapists and the way they go about catering to individuals needs. “The Mii Spa team, lead by Julie Mitchell, are always striving to ensure guests receive a memorable and relaxing spa experience and really go out of their way to make them feel extra special. Their focus on providing excellent customer service is really commendable.
“The feedback we receive from guests and locals is always positive and I’m thrilled the team has been recognised for their hard work”.
Spa salons must stock the exclusive Pevonia Botanica range to be eligible to enter the awards. In its 13th year of operation, this year’s Pevonia Awards attracted more than 60 entrants from spas and salons throughout Australia, Fiji and Vanuatu.
In another coup for the Mii Spa resorts, the Mii Spa brand took out Hotel/Resort Spa Group of the Year, which is a huge achievement and testament to the seven Mii Spa day spas around Australia.
Accor, the world’s leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe, is present in 92 countries with nearly 3,500 hotels and 440,000 rooms. Accor’s broad portfolio of hotel brands – Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, Adagio, ibis, ibis Styles, ibis budget and hotelF1 – provide an extensive offer from luxury to budget. With more than 160,000 employees in Accor brand hotels worldwide, the Group offers its clients and partners 45 years of know-how and expertise.
FORT COLLINS, CO, Oct 02, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) – Athena Salon, Spa Wellness is now offering mobile and in-house spa parties (spa-rties) and wedding spa packages. Whether your spa party is to celebrate a birthday or anniversary, indulge with girls’ nights out, get everyone in your bridal party looking picture perfect, or have an intimate bachelorette party with your closest friends, these super trendy parties are all fun and relaxing. Spa parties can range anywhere from intimate events for four people or large bridal party events. Call today for a custom quote at 970.223.0273.
Angie Lund, owner of Athena Salon, Spa Wellness, says, “We invite our guests to indulge in the ultimate girl pampering at our spa. Although spa-rties are a big trend now, they are also a tried and true way of bonding with close friends and a way to receive the pampering every girl deserves.”
One popular spa party package is the Ladies’ Night Out. Guests can choose from a variety of services including: pedicures, manicures, mini facials, chair massages and hair styling. Guests are also welcome to kick back, relax and have some wine at Athena Salon, Spa Wellness.
Another package is the Bridal Bliss at this facial spa. This package ensures brides are looking and feeling their best on the big day, not to mention looking camera-ready. First, brides-to-be receive a cleansing facial. It includes a collagen eye contour treatment that is designed to alleviate puffiness and provide toning and firming in the eye area. Next, the bride-to-be indulges in a Swedish massage, including an enhanced foot and lower leg treatment. Finally, she is topped off with a manicure and pedicure. The experience lasts 2-2 1/2 hours and can be added to any wedding spa package for the bridal party.
Custom packages can always be arranged to provide the perfect spa party. Sparty favors, drinks and food can also be arranged for the ultimate facial spa experience. Raffles and giveaways can be arranged in the form of gift certificates from the spa, spa products kits or bottles of essential oils.
Athena Salon, Spa Wellness is the premier eco-friendly spa in the northern-Colorado area. For more information about Athena Salon, Spa Wellness, or to inquire about wedding spa packages, visit