In the small town of Roseau, Minnesota, the seed idea was planted for a company that would become the prime producers of off-road, high adventure vehicles. Edgar and Allan Hetten, and their friend David Johnson, took their skills at repairing farm equipment at the end of World War II when resources were scarce, and developed it into a solution for reaching the more remote hunting cabins in the Minnesota mountains.
Julie-Ann Chapman rides her Polaris snowmobile
These three thus invented the modern snowmobile. While the early models were heavy and slow, Hetten, Hetten and Johnson created machines that were more agile and designed for adventure and sight-seeing in addition to durability. The company these three founded became known as Polaris Industries.
Today, Polaris has crossed paths with the travel industry, marketing their vehicles, which for a while has included side by sides, ATVs, snowmobiles, dirt bikes and more, creating itineraries and pairing with a variety of destinations as part of their Polaris Adventures Membership Club. Members are able to select from a healthy list of destinations and off-road vehicles, and begin their adventure by having the vehicle delivered right to their door.
Destinations range from Alaska to Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas to the Appalachian Mountains, to name a few. The terrain is matched with the ideal vehicles that are made available to members. From there, the full-day rentals open up a wealth of landscapes to the adventurer. Imagine, for instance, exploring the Rocky Mountains in a Slingshot, a three-wheel motor vehicle first introduced in 2014. The fresh air and wind blowing through one’s hair, combined with one of the world’s most majestic landscapes, especially at sunset, raises the bar of adventure travel.
Another campaign to promote travel as well as women’s empowerment is Polaris’ Empowersports Women’s Riding Council. Once again, Polaris brings together two powerful forces, women and travel, to help promote both. They employ several adventure ambassadors to represent the brand through their own stories, outreach, educational efforts and inspiring stories. Here are three:
Julie-Ann Chapman hails from British Columbia, Canada. This team Polaris athlete entered the adventure realm through snowboarding. She exists in the delicate balance of safety and empowerment. Certainly, the adventure of new motherhood has added to her responsibilities, but she still has time not only indulge her love of mountain sports, but also instructs in the passion. Her favorite destination is “any mountaintop, but especially in Wyoming and Colorado.” Her favorite Polaris vehicle is the RMK Khaos, and her dream vehicle is the Matrix, which tickles her fancy.
Amy David Comes from Idaho, and learned how to ski around the same time she learned to walk. Her favorite destination is the nostalgic journey back to the fondness of memory. Snowmobiling in Pinedale, Wyoming is not only captivating, but was also a testing ground for Polaris. Her preferred Polaris vehicle is the 2020RMK Pro 850, and her dream vehicle is also the Khaos. Amy believes that women representing a brand have a responsibility to be inclusive and true to themselves. “I must empower myself first before I can empower others,” she says.
Carrie Barton is a science researcher from Oregon who enjoys the fact that those who know her from the lab would never believe that she is a mountain biker, and likewise, those who see her riding the rugged trails would never believe she is an academic in a lab during the day. She blends the two by utilizing her analytic and systematic approach to her work and her more wild passion. Her favorite destination for riding is through the Cascades and the Pacific Northwest. Her go to vehicle is Timbersled Arrow 120 LE, but her dream vehicle is a Timbersled Riot. She is particularly impressed with some of the newer models because they have been constructed to “make it easier for petite people like me to ride with more comfort and control.” While riding these more modest (but by no means “girly” vehicles), she has the opportunity to meet others who ask about the new body style. She stated that “there is no magic formula that makes you a snowboard rider. I am the everyman.”
The thrill of reaching deep within yourself, and in doing so, reaching deep within the mountainous terrain of some of the most majestic places on earth, makes the adventure travel made possible by Polaris particularly attractive to any journeyman or journeywoman.
My ultimate goal in writing and reporting is to use the most precise and descriptive language to enable my readers to share an experience in the closest possible way.