Instagram | @grandmajoysroadtrip

Man Takes His 89-Year-Old Grandmother On Dream Trip To See Every National Park In America

Amy Pilkington 17 Aug 2019

As someone who lost their grandparents young, I love to live vicariously through the feel-good stories of grandparents and their grandkids. It's not a bittersweet thing for me, but a true joy.

And this story about Brad Ryan and his 89-year-old Grandma Joy is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about.

They both grew up in the same small town, but while Brad had left for school, Joy had stayed all her life.

After his first big trip hiking the Appalachian Trail, Brad told her all about it on a visit, and she lamented having not taken the opportunity to go out and see the world when she was younger.

A few years later, needing to get away from school for a while, he remembered that and invited Joy on a spontaneous trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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They had such a good time, that they decided to turn it into a true adventure.

A GoFundMe campaign raised enough money for them to road trip and visit 21 of the 61 U.S. National Parks. They made the whole trip in 28 days.

Since that whirlwind, they've been to eight more parks, and plan to hit the road again in September.

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Brad says he's seen a side of Grandma Joy he never could have in their small town in Ohio.

He told GMA that his favorite moment so far has been watching then-87-year-old Joy roll down a sand dune at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

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"We’ve had all these dramatic experiences and seen all this wildlife that she’s never set eyes on in Ohio," he told CBS News.

They share their adventures on Instagram via @grandmajoysroadtrip and after their story went viral, Joy can add "be interviewed by national news" to her growing list of adventures.


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