A dream that started in his 20s was realized when Washington D.C. resident Mikah Meyer finished an astonishing cross-country trip.
The 33-year old Meyer visited all 419 U.S. National Parks on a single journey to honor his father, with whom he shared many road trips before his dad’s passing 14 years ago. Meyer left his job and his life in D.C to make a trip that lasted 1,095 days and covered more than 75,000 miles.
In fact, when he started on his adventure in 2016, there were 400 national parks, prompting him to quip that next time he “won’t choose a movable goal post.”
Meyer said he saved his cash while in his 20s, and even after a decade it wasn’t enough to cover all his anticipated expenses. So he improvised, such as using free wifi from public libraries and chain restaurants such as Starbucks and McDonald’s to help with logistics and plotting his course.
More importantly, he eschewed hotels and motels and instead retro-fitted his van with a bed and solar-powered refrigerator.
He said that van life was “not nearly as glamorous as what you see on social media.
He also relied on the kindness of friends and former colleagues of his father, who invited him to stay overnight or have a home-cooked meal, as well as churches. A deeply religious man, Meyer said several reached out to him to sing when he was in town and donated funds to help him continue the trip.
“This trip,” he said, “has been a ministry in many ways.”
Meyer blogged and documented his journey on Instagram.
At each park, he went on tours and spent time camping, rafting, hiking or snorkeling.
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