You've seen the commercial where soon-to-be retirees talk about what they want to do when they grow up. Well, this week's Boomers and Beyond subject says he figured it out a long time ago.
Mark Harrington netted a career while in college, thanks to his parents and childhood experiences. As he prepares to leave on a long trip, the "Gone Fishin'" sign takes on a whole new meaning.
"I'm going to be operating a commercial fishing vessel in the Gulf of Alaska for my 31st season, and it's a one-man operation," Harrington explained.
He recalled what events first brought him to love the outdoors.
"My dad was a big outdoorsman. My parents loved to camp, so I grew up camping and with a fulfilling outdoor life," he explained.
Then came a summer job offer.
"My father called me up one day and he said, "Hey Mark, how would you like to start your own commercial fishing business?" And he offered to co-sign a note in order to purchase the permit and purchase the boat," Mark explained.
Next up was a challenging learning curve on the high seas.
"I had no knowledge of the ocean, navigation, the weather. So I had to learn all that first-hand and it was rough. It was a rough learning process that took many years," he said.
So how did this guy end up in Palisade?
"I came to Colorado starting to work at ski areas, slowly working my way down to where it was warmer and warmer," he explained with a smile.
Yes, there is an adventurous Mrs. Harrington as well.
"Her name is Janet," Harrington said, "and she's an er nurse. She is very adventurous, and that's why we're married. Janet loves to go to Alaska. She usually comes up every year and fishes on the boat with me."
Three months or so a year he spends in Alaska, but what about the rest of the year?
"I have a business here in western Colorado called Jammin' Salmon Seafoods," he explained.
So does he cast a line in the fresh waters of Colorado just for fun?
"I don't here, but I do travel over to the Gunnison River, or Blue Mesa, or any number of local ponds and streams like up on Grand Mesa," he explained.
Does he think he'll ever retire?
"The interesting thing about commercial fishing is it's something you can do well well into your old age," he explained. "And your style of fishing changes, but it's an opportunity to make a good income in a short amount of time. So, I could see doing that for awhile."
If you'd like to learn more about Mark and his business, click here.