Visiting America’s National Parks….All 417 of Them

BEATRICE – If all goes well, in April of 2019 Mikah Meyer will set a record.  The Lincoln man, using his life savings at age 30, is on a mission to visit every National Park Service site in the United States.  If he’s successful, he’ll be the youngest person ever to accomplish that feat…beating the current record of age 39.

Meyer’s visit to the Homestead National Monument of America on Labor Day was number 215……out of 417 park sites.   Meyer’s father, a pastor, died when Meyer was 19.  It was then he realized that none of us are guaranteed our time….and he started planning for the trip.

:44                  “every hour”

Meyer is relying on life savings working four jobs, along with any donations and sponsor help he can land.  He makes his way around the United States in a utility van, modified into what he calls his “apartment”.  Appliances are powered with solar panels.  So far, the vehicle has traveled about 35,000 miles, survived hail, a near off-road disaster…and a solar panel charger melting in 111-degree Texas heat.

:14                  “my life”

So far, Meyer says the most memorable single visit was rafting the Grand Canyon.  Meyer says he’s also fueled by letters he’s received from people, wishing they could take a similar trip or undertake such a journey.

:46                  “with our lives”

Meyer began his trip from the Washington D.C. area where he was working, and he plans to complete the journey at the Lincoln Memorial.  The trip also includes excursions off the mainland to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii and Alaska.

The biggest challenges, Meyer says, have been money and the logistics of mapping out such a huge undertaking…which he describes as “a giant chess game”.

:27                  “into this project”

Meyer doesn’t rule out writing a book about the adventure, though he says the main drawback is that he’s not someone who’s already famous.  Asked what he’ll do when he completes his journey, stamping all 417 sites in his Passport Book to Your National Parks….

:25                  “for so long”

From the Homestead National Monument of America, Meyer’s next stop was the Nicodemus National Historic Site in Kansas.  About 40 people heard Meyer’s presentation and saw photos of his trip, at the Homestead’s Education Center, on Monday.   The Passport Book to Your National Parks was introduced by Eastern National to millions of visitors in 1986.  It includes a guidebook with space for cancellation stamps, as people visit the various parks, monuments and historic sites.

You can follow Meyer at his “Travel Beyond Convention” website…

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