Twenty years ago, Cat Herder and Collin were just getting settled into life in western Colorado. The previous two years were spent living and working in Uruguay, and it was a fun time to launch a new chapter in Collin's home turf. Until then, Collin was a professional engineer, flying for fun. It wouldn't be long before those roles reversed.
An Australian honeymoon spent with GOANA Tours sparked an idea, and after a couple years of work, Parkwest Air Tours and (later) Colorado Flight Center were born. Collin went from being an instrument-rated private pilot to one with so many initials and ratings to follow they no longer fit on a business card. And today, he flies with AeroFlite, Inc. as a wildland fire-fighting pilot, and spent the past summer jumping between the cockpits of the RJ tanker and the CL 415 water scooper while serving as duty pilot for the Pilatus support plane in his "off time."
The past four years took us out of Colorado, and now we're headed back. The movers come in two weeks, and we will (at least initially) settle into urban life in Denver. Going forward, Collin will be a dedicated scooper pilot, which should calm the schedule and allow for some higher quality home life. We look forward to getting back to the Centennial State, and reconnecting with the many people--friends, family, customers--who are so very meaningful to us, as are the beautiful mountains and red rock country we so love to fly.
What does this mean for Parkwest Air Tours? Nothing is certain but the uncertainty. But which ever way the wind blows this Cat Herder, know that if you are reading this post, you are likely someone who has impacted our lives greatly and made the Parkwest chapter such a valuable one, for us and for your fellow tour mates as well.
A very Merry Christmas to you all, and we'll look forward to connecting up somehow, somewhere, at some point in the future.
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!