Grandma, 92, and her grandson are traveling across the country in a car to see every national park in the country.
Brad Ryan has brought Joy, a 92-year-old grandma, to 62 of the nation’s 63 national parks since 2015 after she claimed she had never ever seen a mountain.
The National Park of American Samoa, the last national park on their itinerary, will be visited this year to bring this incredible voyage to a close.
When Brad, a veterinarian student at the time, informed his grandmother about his journey to the Appalachian Trail, the challenge to visit every US national park was born.
When Joy from Duncan Falls, Ohio, admitted that she had never even been camping or seen a mountain range, he was astounded.
She expressed her desire to experience travel like her grandson, and Brad gave her the opportunity of a lifetime by taking her on a vacation!
I felt horrible that she was constantly living vicariously through my stories, Brad remarked. I felt obligated to ensure that she had some memories to include in her life story simply because I knew she had never seen deserts, mountains, the ocean, or any of these beautiful natural places on Earth.
The nature-loving couple first traveled to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and since then, they have also enjoyed trips to Joshua Tree National Park and New River Gorge Park.
The two were able to log 50,000 miles of joint travel over their seven-year effort. In the national parks they visited, they also had the opportunity to hike mountains, do white-water rafting, and spend the night under the stars.
It seems sense that the two have grown closer and are now close friends rather than just grandma and grandson.
Their friendship is all the more amazing considering that Brad’s parents’ divorce caused them to go ten years without speaking to one another.
The two had relied on one another ever since they got back in touch. Brad struggled with his mental health prior to their first trip to a national park, and Joy helped him get over a hard stretch.
After seeing practically all of the national parks in the country, Brad is eternally appreciative of the amazing experience he shared with his grandma.
He had the chance to explore more of the nation, and in the process, he made a ton of new friends. Joy, on the other hand, claimed that the car excursions exceeded her expectations.
They were both lucky with their encounters as they journeyed around the nation, she remarked, expressing awe at what she had seen.
Even though it will change your life, this experience is pricey. In order to grant his grandmother’s dream to see mountains, Brad put up a GoFundMe campaign shortly after they went on their first trip together.
They were able to visit 21 national parks in 2017 because to Brad’s ability to raise $12,000. The two went on another lengthy trip in 2019, when they stopped at 20 national parks spread over 14 states.
The excursions cost part of Brad’s savings as well, and the two constantly exercise caution and attempt to save as much money as they can.
Brad started posting pictures of their vacations on social media in 2019 as they soon realized they wanted to share their happiness with their loved ones. Brad started documenting their travels on Instagram and Facebook under the handle @GrandmaJoysRoadtrip and soon grew his following.
Joy stated, “We didn’t anticipate that. He just posted it on social media to let Duncan Falls residents know what we were up to.
As soon as word of their journey to all national parks spread, they received both domestic and foreign publicity. This led to offers from businesses and tour operators, which have aided in financing their excursions.
Joy was in awe of the kindness and generosity of individual donations. She considered how their narrative, which emphasized the value of enjoying life to the fullest whatever one’s age, may have struck a chord with others.