Lincoln native to set world records in travels

Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News 

In the last 17 months Lincoln native Mikah Meyer has been to 44 states and visited 214 national parks.

It’s all part of a goal to visit all 417.

While his trip began a year and a half ago, this journey began in his childhood.

He grew up road tripping with his dad, Larry, who loved to drive.

He died of cancer when Mikah was 19.

"The first road trip I ever did was at age 19, 10 days after my dad’s funeral,” Meyer said. “That’s really the road trip that launched me into all these other ones that showed me this lesson that life is short, tomorrow’s not guaranteed…that I wanted to use these road trips to share that message with the world."

Since that first road trip, he’s taken 13 more, including a nine month loop around the nation.

But his latest one comes with a bigger goal in mind.

"I remembered from some of those past road trips I’ve done I’d been to 10 national parks in my life,” he said. “I thought, well those are pretty cool places, I think I’ll go to all of them."

That began two years of mapping out the trip that would take him to 417 different parks.

He found out it would also earn him two world records.

“The youngest person to ever do it was 39 when they finished so I would become the youngest person to do this…by coincidence. I’d also be the only person ever to do this in one trip, I discovered, by coincidence. So eventually those coincidences felt like, not coincidences.”

He says things like this just kept happening.

So he bought a van and built the place he’d call home for three years.

He began on April 26, 2016, the 11th anniversary of his dad’s death.

"Let’s make life out of death and take a day that’s been horrible and make it something triumphant,” Meyer said.

He’s not just using this trip to get into the record books.

Using it as a catalyst for a group he founded, Queer for Christ.

It’s aimed at spreading the message of acceptance for openly gay Christians, which is why he flies his pride flag high during his trip, he said.

He also speaks and sings at churches across the U.S.

"I got messages from kids in Texas who go to a private Baptist school and I’m not out of closet but thank you for showing me that not only can I be ordinary, I can be extraordinary,” Meyer said.

It’s being this role model that connects him most to his dad, who was a pastor.

"I know that I’m doing something that’s helping other people and that’s where I feel most connected to him because I know he had that same passion everyday when he went to his job as a pastor."

Meyer will finish the trip on April 26, 2019.

He has a few more days in Nebraska before he continues on to his next destination, and there are two opportunities for you to meet him.

He’ll be hosting a concert and fundraiser at First Lutheran Church at 7:00 p.m.

He’ll then visit his 215th park, Homestead National Monument, and you can experience it with him. For more details on that visit his website.