And weren't we reminded of that this month. Collin received the long-awaited confirmation that he will be switching jobs to fly for AeroFlite, the Spokane-based company which operates all things tanker-related in the world of aerial fire suppression. While he's enjoyed the two years as a jump pilot in the CASA 212, he looks forward to this new opportunity because a) he'll be flying a sleek and sexy Pilatus in a single-pilot cockpit, b) the employment benefits are far better than what he was getting previously, and c) he will be flying a support aircraft, and therefore not anxiously awaiting the fire bell to ring.
Then, the unexpected THIS: we need you to be based in Spokane from May thru November.
To which Cat Herder replied: Say what???
Needless to say, we've got a LOT to sort out in the coming week. Collin leaves in 8 days for sim training in Arizona, then will make his way to Spokane. Cat Herder is heading to the "Mother of all National Parks" in Peru next month and upon my return, I guess Luna and I will be hitting the road to join our man.
But I'm looking on the bright side: it will be a "mere" 2200-mile trip this time! Here's a shot from the original, epic journey northbound.
The Devil's In the Details
Cat Herder (aka Marisa) has been guiding pilot tours in the American West for over twenty years. Keep tabs on your Parkwest pilot friends, National Park news and other tidbits here!