Welcome to American Backcountry’s Notes from the Trail. Here we share stories and thoughts from some of our favorite contributors. Each mountain is different and each trip has a different story – these are notes collected along the trail.
Mikah Meyer and the Roadtrip of a Lifetime
May 5, 2019
As outdoor enthusiasts, our National Parks are always on the radar when it comes to road tripping. For us mere mortals, we generally have one, two, maybe three parks we’d hit on any given journey.
When Mikah Meyer goes on a road trip, he hits ALL of the National Parks.
On April 29, 2016, Mikah set out on a journey to visit all 419 National Park sites. At 30 years old, the Nebraska native would be the youngest to visit all of our National Parks Sites and the first to do it in one continuous journey. It would take him three years and countless miles to complete—which he just finished on Saturday, April 27.
From Florida to New England, Southern California to Alaska, Meyers has spent an amount of time on the road and traveling this country that most of us can only dream of. Over on his blog, Meyers has a post from every location, each with their own unique story and the history behind the parks.
A Trip With A Purpose
Meyer’s father, a Lutheran minister, died of cancer at 58 years old. Meyers was just 19. This trip was his way of connecting with his father—reminiscent of the annual trips they took with him as kids. His first solo road trip, days after his father’s funeral, taught him the healing power of travel. It’s that connection with the world and the places you surround yourself with that help you really appreciate the world around you.
Through these travels, Mikah has written for the likes of Outside Magazine, the National Parks Conservation Association, and even the Huffington Post.
Through Meyer’s travels, #PrideOutside was born with a focus on promoting LGBT involvement in the outdoors. As the first openly gay man featured in an outdoor recreation campaign (REI), Meyers became a poster child for promoting more diversity outside.
“So, from starting this journey thinking I had to hide that I was gay to fit America’s mold, to now being able to use this journey to create a historic role model that did not exist before this journey, is an incredibly humbling and amazing feeling.” – Meyers from his interview with Here and Now.
Life After The Road
Just like any experience, they’re always better when shared with those you care about. Meyers is relocating to Minneapolis, which was his favorite stop and home to some of his favorite people he met on the road. You can keep up with Meyers over on Instagram and Facebook.
Words by Justin Forrest