Brad Ryan’s 92-year-old grandmother once told his grandson she had never seen a real mountain. Brad Ryan dedicated the next three years to showing 99 percent of national parks out of 63 national parks in the country.
The only national park left is the National Park of American Samoa. Their remarkable journey will end with their visit to this park.
Brad Ryan celebrated his hike to the Appalachian Trail. That incident paved the way for him to encourage his grandmother to visit all the national parks with him.
Joy, an Ohio resident, surprised him when she confessed she had never experienced camping or witnessed a mountain range.
She was worried about not going on an adventure when she was young. But finally, she is overjoyed by the experience shared by his grandson.
Brad commented, “It pained me to see her constantly attempting to reconstruct her life based on the stories I had shared with her.” Knowing that she had never witnessed the desert, mountains, ocean, or other distinctive natural wonders on Earth, I felt responsible for ensuring she had some experiences to enrich her life story.
They started their journey with the Great Smoky Mountains and continued to New River Gorge and Joshua tree destinations.
During their seven-year adventure, the pair covered more than a 50,000-mile journey. It includes white-water rafting, hiking, and sleeping beneath the stars.
They are not just grandmother and grandson; they have also become the closest friends. The journey made their bond more robust and more muscular.
The gap between his parent’s divorces triggered the relationship between him and his siblings. Due to that, he had many mental struggles. Joy had helped him to conquer them, and this journey helped him a lot.
Having visited nearly every national park in the United States, Brad now deeply appreciates the moments he shared exploring with his grandma.
Traveling across the nation and engaging with diverse individuals was a significant perk. Joy said that this was the best thing that had ever happened in her lifetime.
She was filled with wonder throughout their cross-country journey and expressed gratitude for their incredible luck.
Traveling is a costly undertaking. Brad could fund the first trip. Then, he decided to make a GoFundMe fund for his grandmother’s journey.
This made $12k raised for their journey. So they could travel to 21 national parks in 2017. And they achieved a long trip of 20 national parks across 14 states.
Brad allocated a portion of his resources to their travels, so they were very frugal in spending.
The couple quickly realized that they wanted to share their thrilling new adventure with others. Thus, in 2019, Brad began sharing photos and videos of their excursions on social media. You can see their excitement if you follow Brad’s Instagram and Facebook updates @GrandmaJoysRoadtrip account.
They said they posted them to show what they do for people in Duncan White.
Soon after they shared their content, they became famous all over the state. As many business organizations and travel agencies approached them, they received enough funds for their trips.
She believed that their shared experience could serve as inspiration to people of all ages.
Trips can be short to long on days. But the excitement of Joy could consistently summon the determination to embark on their adventures. In July 2021, they embarked on a physically demanding journey to see Alaska’s eight national parks.
She dreamt of seeing how bears eat fish. In Alaska, she could see what she desired.
As they conclude visiting national parks, they are approaching a new bucket list to see state or international parks.
Expressing his joy, he remarked, “It’s been an incredible journey; truly, it has. These past several years have been extraordinary, and I am deeply grateful for them.”
Finally, Brad added,” Everyone could not see every National Park in the US, but our journey may inspire people to see even state parks.”
Regardless of the paths their lives take, they will forever serve as role models for those seeking to expand their horizons and cultivate enduring relationships with the individuals who hold the most tremendous significance in their lives.