Next stop on our National Park trial circuit: Mt. Rainier.
The Hofmans loaded up their RV, made sure that cat and baby were buckled in, and set off for some good old outdoor family fun. All while zipping past the summertime crowds, of course.
Our National Parks are packed! We’re stoked to see how many people have looked towards our outdoor wonders for their summertime entertainment, and the parks genuinely deserve every last visitor. But if you’re used to whipping around the parks on your own schedule, the summer crowds might throw a wrench into your routine.
Enter the M1: Your personal, practical, and eco-efficient answer to in-park transportation.
We put our flagship e-board to the test by sending a pair off to the Hofman family, a little clan of RV-dwelling nature enthusiasts. They headed up to Mt. Rainier N.P. for a mountainside M1 trial!
Q: Hey Hofman crew! Let’s get a quick family introduction.
A: Hey friends! We are Cees and Madison Hofman. We have a 1 year old, Theo, and our ‘Adventure Kitty’, Vladimir. We’ve lived on the road for 3 years now, and can’t get enough of our National Parks. We actually toured to all 59 US national parks to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the NPS (back in 2016). We live full time in our 1989 Toyota Mini Motorhome that we renovated ourselves.
Q: What were your initial thoughts on the M1? Room for storage must always be on your mind when living in an RV… right?
A: Having the M1 in the RV is SUPER convenient. When you live in a small space like we do, every item or belonging needs to justify the space that it takes up. The M1s were so easy for us to keep tucked away in the cabin, and were way more accessible than our bikes. We’re so used to having to climb up to our roof to get our bikes down, and it was great to avoid that hassle.
Q: When making a trip to a National Park in the summertime, there are certain downsides that might seem inevitable. The first one that comes to mind for us? Parking.
A: Parking in National Parks is always a nightmare. Which is actually a good thing! We love that people are setting out to explore more of our parks. But, when you are trying to get to a certain spot, it can be overwhelming and frustrating. Parking in the “less desirable” lots, and zipping in on our M1 was AWESOME. I would cruise up to the visitors center from where we were camped a few times, and I never had to deal with any of the traffic or the parking nightmare! It was beautiful.
Q: Onto your park trip in particular: What was the best skate spot in Rainier?
A: We took the M1 down the “Paradise 1-Way Loop” probably 5 times while we were there! It was SUCH a blast. Being able to feel the flow while gliding past the trees, the wild flowers, and the epic scenery of Rainier... was just outstanding. And what was especially nice is that we only had to watch for traffic coming from one direction. It was for sure the best place we found to skate in the park.
Q: Did you feel like your choice of transport made for a different Parks experience?
A: Before the M1, I would have never really considered a skateboard to be a reliable form of transportation in the parks. The area is just so expansive and there is so much to see and do. But with a few batteries in my pack, I was able to spend a good chunk of the day out exploring the beautiful surroundings on my M1. And it was FANTASTIC. It gave me the same feeling I get when I am out on a mountain bike trail! I felt close to nature, I was free from loud engines, and I was able to really connect with my surroundings. I honestly haven’t ever had that much fun on a skateboard before.
Q: As a result of your extensive testing, what M1 feature did you find to be the most important?
A: Battery swapping was key. These parks are so big that if you really want to see it all, having a few batteries in your arsenal is a must. And swapping is just so easy, a 30 second pit stop and you’re back rolling down the road.
Q: Cees, we know you were born to shred, but how did the other family members get on with the M1?
A: According to Madison, her favorite part of the M1 is that she feels that ANYONE can use the M1 and feel comfortable while doing so. She used to longboard in highschool, but after having a child, she found herself being really cautious and felt a little scared to go downhill. But because of the braking feature and the overall stability of the board, she felt totally comfortable and in control. She loved it!
Q: And finally, can you share some of your Rainier must-sees for our would-be visitors?
A: Hiking the Glacier Viewpoint Trail at sunset. It’s in the Paradise area, and the colors and scenery were simply stunning. It is actually one of our favorite areas across the entire park system. We also really enjoyed the hikes in the Sunrise area of the park. The First Burroughs trail has particularly amazing views of Rainier, and we actually ran into a bear on the way! All around good times.
To properly celebrate our National Parks, and to make sure future generations can enjoy them as well, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Parks Project. These awesome people craft park-inspired apparel and accessories, and every sale funds and supports ongoing volunteer projects in the parks themselves. In Rainier, Parks Project has outfitted 537 Trail Crew Volunteers with equipment and supplies, to help keep trails safe and available while preserving our national wonders.
To find out more about Parks Project and their work across all of our parks, check out their site below: