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Man completes road trip to all 419 U.S. National Park Service sites

By
Ben Hooper

April 30 (UPI) -- A road trip enthusiast arrived in Washington, D.C., and completed his quest to visit all 419 National Park Service sites three years to the day after he began.

Mikah Meyer, 30, said he was inspired by his late father's love of road trips when he set off April 29, 2016 -- the 11th anniversary of his father's death -- on a quest to visit all 419 National Park Service sites.

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Meyer finished his trip Monday at the Washington Monument.

"It wasn't that my dad was a big lover of national parks," Meyer told NBC News. "But he loved road trips. And his death taught me that if you have a dream, you shouldn't put it off until retirement, because that might never happen."

Meyer set a Guinness World Record by becoming the youngest person to visit all of the National Park Service sites, as well as becoming the first to visit all of the sites in a single continuous road trip.

Meyer, who also used his trip as a means to advocate for the LGBT community, said much of his funding came from singing at churches along his route.

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"Half of them were publicly affirming of the LGBT community and saw it as a way to kind of publicize that," he said. "But the other half were pastors who never had this conversation with their congregation before and wanted to open this up -- those were the most impactful. People came up to me afterward, crying, talking about their LGBT family members."

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