Your relationship with your grandparents is extra special. Most of them treat you super nice and give you all kinds of treats. However, sometimes things can go wrong. When grandson Brad Ryan’s parents divorced, that very thing happened.
He had a great relationship with Grandma Joy, and they spent loads of time adventuring outdoors.
“My Grandma Joy and I would go to Blue Rock State Park near our hometown, and I would catch crawdads in the stream. I always knew my Grandma Joy and I shared a reverence for nature and wildlife,” he explained. “I remember sleepovers at her house when sheshould would teach me to make cookies.”
However, they didn’t see each other for 10 years after his parents’ divorce. However, Joy ran into her grandson by accident. They decided to make up for the lost time by going on an epic road trip. It was when Brad was telling his grandma about a recent trip that he noticed how much she missed exploring.
“Her eyes softened and then she matter-of-factly said, ‘I regret that I didn’t get see more things in life. It would have been nice to see the mountains,'” he recalled. “My heart broke for her.”
Soon, Brad was planning his next adventure, so he gave his grandma a call. “I called her and said, ‘Are you doing anything this weekend? I want to drive down to the Smokies. How do you feel about sleeping in a tent?’ Her response was decisive, ‘When are you picking me up?'”
The pair climbed the 2.3 mile trail and spent the night in a tent – Joy’s first ever camping experience at age 85!
“It was a life-altering trip that provided more purpose and fulfillment than anything I had ever done academically or professionally,” Brad explained. “Two years later I set up a GoFundMe called Grandma Joy’s Road Trip in the spirit of making up for lost time and proving that you’re never too old to pack in a lifetime of adventure and travel.”
Now grandma and grandson have travelled over 25,000 miles in 38 states, visiting 29 of the 61 U.S. national parks. And they don’t regret a thing.
“We were trapped in a bison herd for over four hours in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park,” Brad recalls his favorite adventures. They all sound like life-cahnging experiences. “We have watched the sunrise over the Grand Canyon. We have stared up at the towering sequoias of California that were standing long before Grandma Joy was born.”
This inspirational grandson has given his grandma a new lease of life. Let us know what you think of their beautiful connection and amazing road trips in the comments. Share with your family and friends, who are you taking on an epic road trip?