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Young Adventurer Starts Journey Across America's National Parks


Mikah Meyer cools off by a waterfall in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio.

Mikah Meyer cools off by a waterfall in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio.

Last month, Mikah Meyer left Washington, D.C., for the road trip of a lifetime — to visit more than 400 sites within the U.S. National Park Service.

Mikah Meyer is intrigued by a tree full of knots at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Mikah Meyer is intrigued by a tree full of knots at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

His journey — which will take him to every state in the union — has two goals: to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the park service and to honor his late father, who died before he could realize his dream of traveling across America.

As he makes his way across the country, Mikah will be sharing highlights of his adventure with VOA through photos and short web texts that he'll be sending to us on a regular basis.

Before starting his road trip, he told us, "This national park system is way more than these capital 'P' parks. It’s everything from national seashores to national monuments to national historical sites to national battlefields. It's this entire system that's so much more than just vistas.”

Here are two he visited this month:

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Glen Arbor, Michigan, was recently named the "Most Beautiful Place in America" on ABC's Good Morning America. The area is as old as continental ice sheets and as young as the 1970 Establishment Act that set aside the lakeshore for preservation of the natural resources and public use.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a nature lover's paradise with miles of sandy beaches, bluffs that tower high above Lake Michigan, lush forests, clear inland lakes and unique flora and fauna.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a nature lover's paradise with miles of sandy beaches, bluffs that tower high above Lake Michigan, lush forests, clear inland lakes and unique flora and fauna.

The most prominent features, and those for which the park is named, are the high dunes above Lake Michigan. These immense sand dunes are “perched” atop the already towering headlands that are glacial moraines. ​

Mikah Meyer captures a shot of a sailboat from a high vantage point at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Glen Arbor, Michigan.

Mikah Meyer captures a shot of a sailboat from a high vantage point at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Glen Arbor, Michigan.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio is refuge for a wide variety of native plants and wildlife. While it is only a short distance from the big cities of Akron and Cleveland, it seems worlds away.

The National Park Service has documented over 1,500 wetlands at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The National Park Service has documented over 1,500 wetlands at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The Cuyahoga River winds through open farmlands, rolling hills, deep forests and spectacular waterfalls.

It's a long way to the top for Mikah Meyer, but worth every step. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio.

It's a long way to the top for Mikah Meyer, but worth every step. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio.

Look for more awesome images and travel anecdotes from Mikah in the coming weeks.

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