WELLS, Maine — A visit to the beach, a trip to the lake, or a hike up a mountain are fun summer activities a lot of people take for granted. For those who have a hard time getting to those destinations, there's the TerrainHopper.
The off-road vehicle is designed to handle any terrain. Todd Lemay sells TerrainHoppers from his home in Arizona, but he grew up in Springvale, Maine. He used to enjoy visits to Wells Beach, but his Brittle Bone Disease limited his access. That changed when he purchased a hopper.
"Until four years ago I was never able to come out onto the beach under my own power," Lemay said. "It was always someone pushing me out here and where ever they set me, that's where I had to be."
Having his own TerrainHopper to go to the beach with wasn't enough for Lemay. He wanted to offer the same experience to others. Making trips back to Maine to give free test drives. Kenny Demers went 19 years without a day on the beach because of a stroke. That changed the day Lemay showed him how to drive a TerrainHopper.
"We've had people who are paralyzed from the neck down who have very little movement in their hands and in their arms and they are able to control it no problem," Lemay said.
He was also able to convince his mom, Daurice Lemay, to take a ride on the off-road vehicle that can go in up to 20 inches of water. Her mobility is normally limited because of arthritis.
"So many people are so confined and if something like this can get them out and enjoy life a little more it's fantastic," Daurice Lemay said.
A TerrainHopper has a variety of makes and models to fit each rider's mobility needs. Starting price is around $18,000.