She listened animatedly as Brad described the amazing things he’d seen.
Brad was shocked when Joy confided that after working a minimum wage job until she was 80, she’d never so much as seen the ocean.
‘She told me that she really, really regretted that she didn’t get to do more of that type of thing and have more experiences in life,’ Brad told CBS News.
Later that year, when Brad took a three-day trip to a national park, he packed a backpack for Joy and took her with him.
That was the beginning of what is now known as ‘Grandma Joy’s Road Trip.’
Since then, Brad and Joy, now aged 90, have visited 53 of the 61 National Parks in the US and they fully intend to tick off the remaining eight as soon as it’s safe to travel again.
On their joint Instagram page, Brad has shared photos of the pair exploring the Grand Canyon, watching the sunrise, spotting dolphins and enjoying wildflowers.
The experience has been just as rewarding for Brad, who is now a vet at a zoo.
‘She inspired me so much, it helped me to slow down,’ Brad says.
‘The way she would notice the little things, like the colour of the mushrooms on the ground.
I was focused on goals, like climbing the mountain, but sometimes it’s about enjoying those little moments too.’