A 92-year-old grandma and her grandson have set out on an incredible road trip, with a mission to explore all the national parks in the United States.

This extraordinary journey came about when Joy, the adventurous grandmother, mentioned to her grandson, Brad, that she had never witnessed a real mountain. It surprised Brad, a veterinary school student, and he decided to make her dream come true.

Brad felt guilty knowing that his grandmother had never experienced the beauty of deserts, mountains, oceans, and other natural wonders on our planet. He had bragged about his hiking adventures along the Appalachian Trail, which inspired him to embark on this epic quest. He wanted to create lasting memories for his grandmother, who had never been camping or seen a mountain range.

Credit: facebook.com/GrandmaJoysRoadTrip

Their journey started with a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains and continued on to places like New River Gorge and Joshua Tree. Over seven years, they covered an astounding 50,000 miles, taking part in activities like hiking and white-water rafting, and spending nights under the starry sky at numerous national parks.

Credit: facebook.com/GrandmaJoysRoadTrip

Their bond deepened during these trips, transforming them from being just grandmother and grandson into the closest of friends. What makes their connection even more remarkable is the fact that Brad had a 10-year gap in communication with his siblings due to his parents’ divorce. Since reuniting, they’ve leaned on each other for support.

Credit: facebook.com/GrandmaJoysRoadTrip

Joy played a vital role in helping Brad through his mental health struggles before they began their national park adventures. Having explored nearly all of the U.S. national parks, Brad has come to cherish the time spent with his grandma.

Their travels across the country allowed them to meet diverse people and savor unique experiences. Joy, who marveled at the breathtaking sights they encountered, considered herself incredibly fortunate.

Credit: facebook.com/GrandmaJoysRoadTrip

This life-changing journey, however, did come at a cost. Although Brad initially funded their first trip, he set up a GoFundMe to fulfill his grandmother’s dream of seeing the mountains. Thanks to his efforts, they visited 21 national parks in 2017 and later embarked on a 2019 journey that took them to 20 national parks in 14 states. They are careful with their expenses, making every dollar count.

Credit: facebook.com/GrandmaJoysRoadTrip

In 2019, Brad began sharing their adventures on social media, creating the @GrandmaJoysRoadtrip account. Their journey became widely recognized and received support from various businesses and travel agencies, enabling them to continue their travels. They were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from strangers and believed that their story could inspire people of all ages.

Credit: facebook.com/GrandmaJoysRoadTrip

Their journeys varied in duration, ranging from five-day getaways to 45-day adventures. Joy’s spirit remained strong, and in July 2021, they took on the physically demanding challenge of exploring Alaska’s eight national parks. This trip fulfilled Joy’s dream of encountering wild animals, experiencing class three rapids, and hiking among glaciers and fjords.

Credit: facebook.com/GrandmaJoysRoadTrip

As they near the completion of their quest to visit every national park, they look forward to crossing more items off their “bucket list,” which includes trips to state parks and possibly international destinations. Joy reflects on their incredible journey with happiness and gratitude, while Brad encourages everyone to seek adventure, whether in a national park or closer to home.

Credit: facebook.com/GrandmaJoysRoadTrip

For Brad, adding excitement to Joy’s life has been a fulfilling endeavor that has brought them even closer. Their story serves as an inspiring example for those seeking to broaden their horizons and build enduring relationships with their loved ones, regardless of the course of their lives.

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