Photo courtesy of Randy Rantz Louise Bighouse, left, recently realized her lifelong dream of obtaining a private pilot’s license. With her was FAA examiner Judith Kirkwood.

Photo courtesy of Randy Rantz
Louise Bighouse, left, recently realized her lifelong dream of obtaining a private pilot’s license. With her was FAA examiner Judith Kirkwood.

By Ashley Lodato

Congratulations are in order for Winthrop Postmaster Louise Bighouse, who was awarded her private pilot’s license in late August. Earning her wings was not a whim for Louise; it was something she began as a teenager. “But then life got in the way,” she says. Louise married, had kids, and put flying far on the back burner.

But when Bob Hoffman started offering aviation for women program, something stirred in Louise. She called Bob and secured one of the last seats on a flight around Twisp. “I wanted to see if I still had the bug,” she says. And sure enough, she was still bitten.

Louise began lessons for a second time, mostly with Bob, and on Aug. 21 became official. “I dragged out the process a bit longer than some,” says Louise. “I needed to enjoy the journey and the educational part of it.”

What inspired Louise to start flying as a teen? “I really love to go fast,” she admits. “I love the adventure. For a while I thought I would be a corporate pilot.”

For some, fulfilling a life dream means moving on to the next bucket list item. For Louise, however, earning her license is merely the beginning of an adventure. “I have kids all over the state,” she says. “By air they’re now only an hour away.” And exploring the Methow Valley from the sky ranks high on Louise’s list as well. “We have such a beautiful valley to fly in,” she says. “All the seasons, the rivers, a bright blue sky with snow on the ground. It all looks so different from the air.”

A journey that began 38 years ago has now entered phase two, as Louise is free to take to the skies whenever she feels like it (and whenever a plane from her flight club is available). If you hear an engine overhead and see an orange and white Cessna, give a wave — it just might be Louise.

Other fun things to look for in the valley will be members of Methow At Home wearing each other’s clothes. Marcia Ives hosted a Ladies’ Night Out Clothing and Jewelry Exchange for the group, and 22 attendees showed up with apparel and accessories to swap. Everyone went home with something new and all were grateful for the chance to clean out their closets and freshen up their wardrobes a bit. Better still, the event fostered camaraderie and community and raised $200 for Methow At Home.

PREVIOUSLY, IN WINTHROP

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