ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – He is on a journey to visit all of the country’s more than 400 national parks.
Monday, he hit number 144 here in Albuquerque. KRQE News 13 caught up with the Nebraska man about his journey.
Mikah Meyer started his cross county road trip nearly a year ago.
Monday, it brought him to the westside of town to Petroglyphs National Monument.
“I’m on a non-stop three year road trip to visit all 417 NPS sites,” Meyer said.
Meyer is in the Land of Enchantment nearly a year into his journey.
“Lots of people see the headlines and they think I’m some trust fund kid,” Meyer said.
But, the 31-year-old says that’s not the case at all.
He says he has two main reasons to live out of his van and drive across the country.
“So when I was 19, my dad passed away from cancer,” Meyer said.
Meyer says his dad loved hitting the road.
“I missed out on that time with him,” he said.
His other inspiration?
“To do it for the LGBT community so they can feel like they have a role model that doesn’t exists right now, an outdoorsy gay man,” Meyer said.
This three year journey started at the Washington Monument.
So far, he’s traveled 21,000 miles.
“So I spent the summer in the upper midwest, the fall in New England, the deep winter in Florida and south Texas and now as spring is arriving, I’m in New Mexico,” Meyer explained.
A state he says, is in fact magical.
“I’m happy to be here in the Land of Enchantment. It’s an amazing state for somebody who grew up in Nebraska with the prairies, I can’t think of a second that I’ve been in New Mexico that haven’t been able to see mountains somewhere,” he said.
Meyer says our region has already gained a spot on his “bests” list.
“So White Sands is actually one of my top four parks now,” Meyer said.
Next, he’ll head north to Colorado, continuing a crazy adventure he says has been rewarding but definitely not easy.
“People write on my Facebook and they say I wish could take a three year vacation and I say, wish I could, too. This is the hardest work I’ve ever done in my whole life,” Meyer said.
He started his journey without enough money to fund his entire trip.
He’s earned donations by singing at churches and from the LGBT community.
“It’s taught me a lot about my own resolve and my own tenacity to to make this project happen,” Meyer said.
Meyer hopes to inspire young people to get outdoors and see what our country has to offer.
“When I’m done, I’m going to take a nice long shower and sleep in a house with air conditioning,” Meyer said.
He now heads to Santa Fe where he’ll be singing at Saint Bede’s Episcopal Church this Sunday.
Through his journey, Meyer will also break a world record, becoming the youngest person to visit all 417 national park sites and the first person to do it in one continuous trip.