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Alumni News

Traveling Troika

Hipster tripsters take on the national parks.

Cees and Madison Hofman at Crater Lake.
Madison and Cees Hofman at Crater Lake National Park. Photo courtesy Cees and Madison Hofman.

In spite of initial skepticism from family and friends, campsite critter invasions, roads full of potholes, limited shower opportunities, uncooperative weather, and the daily gamble to find a better place to camp than the Walmart parking lot, Cees C. (BS ’15) and Madison Carver Hofman (BS ’15) are having the time of their lives. Just three days after graduating in April, the couple climbed into their restored 1989 Toyota motor home with their cat, Vladimir Kitten, and took off on the road trip of a lifetime. To coincide with the centennial of the U.S. national parks, they decided to visit all 59 in one year. They’ve already been to more than 20—in Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska—hiking, biking, kayaking, and highlining all the way.

The Hofmans are documenting their adventures on their blog, Our Vie Adventures, and have more than 22,000 Instagram followers. Here are some highlights and things they’ve learned along the way:

“We finally got up the energy to drive the 17-mile scenic Hurricane Ridge. It was super rainy, completely foggy and bleak for 16 miles of the supposedly epic drive. We wanted to call it quits and turn around, but we kept going, and at mile 16 the sun broke through the thick clouds. . . . It was worth the drive and the suspense getting to the top.” —Madison

The view from Mt. Rainier.
Mount Rainer National Park. Photo courtesy Cees and Madison Hofman.
The Hofmans making arches with their bodies at Arches (the place).
Arches in Arches National Park. Photo courtesy Cees and Madison Hofman.
A view of the Hofman's motor home on the road in Alaska.
On the road in Alaska. Photo courtesy Cees and Madison Hofman.

“We cruised back to the Moro Rock trailhead to climb the 400 steps to the top for the sunset. As we climbed, we looked out to the east to see the ridge of the Sierras lit up in the low light. For me this was one of the ‘I can’t believe that this is our life right now’ moments. It is crazy to me that we are living our dream.” —Cees

The Hofmans at Sequoia National Park.
Sequoia National Park. Photo courtesy Cees and Madison Hofman.
The Hofmans driving through redwoods.
Driving through redwoods. Photo courtesy Cees and Madison Hofman.
Sitting on the front of their motor home, the Hofmans take a rest stop between their travels.
Sitting on the front of their motor home, the Hofmans take a rest stop along their travels. Photo courtesy Cees and Madison Hofman.

“There was a . . . quote at one of the overlooks that we stopped at on the way [into Zion] that read: ‘We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in’ (Wallace Stegner, 1960). I feel that a lot of our trip is ‘driving to the edges’ of these great spaces of wilderness. We get glimpses of the beautiful places and of what it means to experience these parks. . . . Our efforts barely scratch the surface.” —Cees

The Hofmans kayaking in a lake.
Kayaking in Yosemite. Photo courtesy Cees and Madison Hofman.
The Hofmans on an overlook in Zion National Park.
The Hofmans on an overlook in Zion National Park. Photo courtesy Cees and Madison Hofman.