Mikah Meyer completed a three-year long trek to all 419 National Park sites culminating with a visit to the Lincoln Memorial on April 29.
Meyer, who hails from Nebraska but lived in D.C. before beginning the trip, was inspired to attempt the feat by his late father. The 33-year-old told USA Today he was looking forward to taking road trips with his father in college but, unfortunately, his father passed away in 2005 before they got the chance.
He decided to honor his father by embarking on the adventure of a lifetime.
Meyer drove 70,000 miles and visited all 419 National Park sites including in Alaska, Hawaii and five U.S. territories. He documented the journey on Instagram where he accumulated more than 70,000 followers.
The trip concluded on April 29 in D.C. where Meyer walked from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. A crowd of friends, family and supporters gathered together to watch the finale.
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The walk from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial was designed to represent more than just a sojourn from one park to another, but to be a moment of reflection for all this journey has become: – A trip to 419 National Park Service sites meant to encourage us to live our lives fully while we have them. – That reached all 56 U.S. states and territories at nearly 200,000 miles traveled as its mission grew to show representation of a proud, out gay man in the outdoors that proves you can be whoever you are, no matter the stereotypes. – And a chance to show people that maybe you’re a gay Christian male soprano from the flattest state in America, but You Can Do You, Boo: there are no limits or boxes on who you’re allowed to be—you, each and every one of you—are both ordinary AND extraordinary! While the initial idea was to scale the steps like Rocky, the climb to the top of the Lincoln Memorial came to mean much more…
Meyer is gay and says that he did encounter some homophobia along his travels.
“People would comment on articles about me and they’d say ‘Well now i’m gonna have to be careful using the bathrooms in the national parks,'” Meyer told USA Today. “It’s tough when you’re trying to do something positive and trying to do something to help people, and people refer to antiquated stereotypes.”
Meyer plans to move to Minneapolis and to road trip alongside the Nebraska Cornhusker football team for his next grand adventure.