92-year-old grandma and grandson are on a mission to visit every US national park together(photo)

A dream that Brad Ryan, 41, and his grandmother Joy Ryan, 92, originally believed was unachievable—visiting all 63 U.S. national parks—is getting closer to completion.

In October 2015, the couple from Duncan Falls, Ohio, began their journey. Brad was seeking for a way to pass a three-day weekend while he was attending veterinary school. He said that after talking to "Grandma Joy" about his earlier treks down the Appalachian Trail, the notion first came to him.

Brad said on "GMA": "I felt horrible that she was always living vicariously through my experiences." Because of this, I felt obligated to ensure that she had some memories to include in her life narrative as well. "Just knowing that she had never seen deserts, mountains, the ocean, and these wonderful natural places on Earth, it just seemed like a duty that I had to her."

Brad thought this would be their final outing together, so he asked his grandmother on a weekend vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

You don't anticipate going on a camping vacation with your 85-year-old grandma that it would be anything other than difficult, Brad remarked. "I'm to blame for it. My misunderstanding of what age implies and, more crucially, what her spirit would let her to accomplish, stems from this."

Grandma Joy said, "I've always tried to be positive in my life and it didn't harm to try anything once. "I didn't want to have to regret that you didn't do it the following day."

Brad started sharing their travels on Instagram and Facebook in 2019 under the handle @GrandmaJoysRoadtrip, and they rapidly gained a significant following. Currently, they have close to 58k Instagram followers.

Grandma Joy said, "We didn't anticipate that. He just posted it on social media to let Duncan Falls residents know what we were up to.

Grandma Joy and her grandson Brad, according to National Park Services Chief of Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, "are an example to us all."

The greatest way to experience national parks is with the people we love, and it is obvious that Joy and Brad have a particular link that has grown stronger over the course of their travels together, according to Anzelmo-Sarles.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak prompted them to slow down, they had been to 29 parks.

All we could do, according to Brad, was hold out hope that things would turn around and that the chances would still be there. We also had to be thankful for what we had accomplished and seen up to that time.

Grandma Joy and Brad went on one of their wildest adventures yet in July 2021 when they traveled to the eight National Parks of Alaska. While there, they went white water rafting down class three rapids, went hiking near glaciers and fjords, and checked seeing a wild animal off Grandma Joy's bucket list.

"I finally had the chance to observe the bears catch the salmon, something I had always wanted to see. Additionally, it was enjoyable, "added Grandma Joy.

Grandma Joy and Brad are nearly ready to put their hiking boots away after years of preparing and traveling; they still have one national park to visit, the National Park of American Samoa, which is almost 6,700 miles away from their home town of Duncan Falls.

It will be "bittersweet" for them to finally accomplish their incredible goal, but they are looking forward to the day they visit their last park, according to Brad.

Grandma Joy said, "It's been a fantastic trip, it truly has." "Really, this has been a moment of great beauty. It is something I wouldn't swap for anything."

Brad and Grandma Joy's piece of advice is to always look for chances to explore.

Brad remarked, "We understand that not everyone will be able to visit every U.S. National Park. However, there is some adventure to be had in every region of the nation, so we hope that people would go in search of it.
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