Grandma, 93, And Grandson Complete Goal Of Visiting All 63 U.S. National Parks

A grandmother and grandson from Ohio have been on a seven-year quest to visit all 63 U.S. National Parks. On May 16, 93-year-old Joy Ryan made history as the oldest living person to visit every U.S. National Park. “It was the greatest privilege of my life to be in the driver’s seat for Grandma Joy’s road trip,” her grandson, Brad, said.

By the time she was 85 years old, Joy had never seen the ocean or mountains. “When I learned she had never seen the great wildernesses of America – deserts, mountains, oceans, you name it – I thought that was something that would haunt me if I didn’t intervene in some way,” Brad told CBS News. Since then, Joy has rolled down the sand dunes in Colorado, went white water rafting and zip-lining in West Virginia, found alligators in the Everglades and flown to the top of Denali – the highest mountain peak in North America.

The 63rd and final stop on their tour was the National Park of American Samoa. Once there, park rangers gave them certificates to celebrate the feat – one that Brad says “defied erroneous assumptions about the limitations of aging.” Joy also offered insight on living a long life. “I thank the Lord every morning for giving me another day. And it’s your choice whether you’re going to have a grumpy day or a sunny day. So, smile at everybody, and let everybody know you’re having a whale of a time,” Joy said.