It’s hard to believe we’re more than halfway into 2016 already and it’s even harder to believe that I’m thinking through tour ideas for next year—which will be our 18th year in business!
As many of you know, Collin has changed gears from flying smokejumpers in a CASA 212 to flying a Pilatus for AeroFlite, an air tanker and scooper operator. He doesn’t have to fly in to fires anymore, but rather to the nearest tanker base where he delivers spare parts, mechanics, crew, etc.
All of that to say, there is some uncertainty about his schedule, the fire season, etc., so again we will likely be considering tours in the shoulder season so as not to conflict with his flying contract. I have been kicking around a variety of tour ideas and am hoping to get some feedback from all of you about them. After the great fun and success of the Arctic Quest this winter, you will note that I am again considering options of the non-flying type as well.
I'd appreciate it if you could give me your thoughts and interest on the following tour ideas, all of which would be about two weeks in duration. This will help me determine the 2017 line-up.
Traditional "Parkwest-Style" Flying Vacations:
Northwest Adventure: Perhaps meeting at Yellowstone and hitting some spots in the Pacific Northwest like Rainier & Olympic National Parks, San Juan Islands, maybe re-visit the ever-popular Crater Lake.
Park-East: Visiting a variety of National Parks from Acadia in Maine down to Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys, and hitting a lot of hot spots in between.
Southwest USA: It’s hard to believe it, but we have not yet exhausted all of the great places to visit in the desert southwest, which is our most reliable VFR region.
Other Tour Ideas for Parkwest People to Enjoy Together
Drive Alaska. My thoughts on this are: gather in Anchorage, rent the vehicle of your choice, double up with your friends if you wish, and “see” Alaska by ground, caravan style. Tentative itinerary is: Anchorage-Whittier-Valdez-McCarthy-Fairbanks-Denali National Park-Talkeetna-Anchorage. Highlights include: crossing Prince William Sound by auto ferry, Wrangell - St. Elias NP, Denali NP, and much more. Timing: late May.
Arctic Quest II. Gather in Anchorage for the start of the Iditarod festivities, launch the teams at the re-start in Willow, enjoy some winter fun and aurora viewing at various spots while the dog teams make their way across the state. Be in Nome at the finish line. Timing: early March.
Visit the South American "Guays". Escape the late winter doldrums and head south to Paraguay and Uruguay. Tentative destinations include: Montevideo, Punta del Este & Tacuarembo (where Marisa learned to fly) in Uruguay, and Asuncion, San Bernardino & Iguazu Falls in Paraguay. As many of you know, we have great hosts at “SanBer” in Roberto and Roberto, who could get us flying, gliding, and perhaps watching Beto fly the Deperdussin replica he has painstakingly built over the past few years. Collin and I lived in Uruguay for two years and it’s a small country but lovely, diverse and safe for tourists; we’ve been to see our Paraguayan friends once, and would relish the idea of a return visit. Timing: late winter/early spring.
We'd appreciate it if you could use the following form to list your preferences and let me know any other requests or suggestions you have for us going forward. Thank you for your feedback, and please remember to click on "Submit" before you leave this page.