DENVER, Colo. — The Memorial Day weekend was a different one for a Russia resident.
Rudy Langenkamp, 20, who is hitchhiking around the U.S. arrived in Denver, Colorado, over the weekend.
“The trip is going very well,” said Langenkamp. “I would guess that I’ve caught over 100 rides at this point. Everyone has been super chill and the weather has been perfect for travelling.
“I’ve been carrying things with me in my pack to give drivers as gifts in exchange for the lift — snacks, drinks, cigarettes, souvenirs, etc.” he said. “It’s a way to thank them for letting me ride along with them in their travels.”
Langenkamp, who left Ohio on May 5, traveled down to Florida and then along the southern states until he arrived in California. His purpose in making the trip was the see how grocery stores handle food waste issues.
“I’ve really been looking into the large-scale food waste issue since I’ve gotten on the West Coast.” he said. “In California especially, corporations and individuals seem to pay more attention to their wastefulness. More is done by organizations and politicians to make sure that the less fortunate are in a better position to get back on their feet, which often includes some sort of regulated food collection/transportation system.
“It’s been interesting to see how different people throughout the country look at the issue of large-scale food waste and to observe what they’re doing to minimize it in their area. Looking forward to the continued research of this issue,” he said.
Since he last provided an update to the Sidney Daily News about his travels, Langenkamp has visited an additional four states.
Here’s a day-by-day mini diary of his adventures since Day 9:
Day 9 (May 14): ended up making it to Phoenix, Arizona, and camped out there.
Day 10 (May 15): made it to Arizona/California border, slept in hammock between two palm trees.
Day 11 (May 16): arrived at Ocean Beach, on the coast near San Diego, in the evening and set up camp near the water.
Day 12 (May 17): traveled north along coast and explored beaches along the way, camped out between San Diego and L.A.
Day 13 (May 18): met up with cousin and rode with her to Los Angeles, took subway to Hollywood Boulevard, explored Walk of Fame, and the surrounding area, stayed with some fellow travelers that I met while in New Orleans.
Day 14 (May 19): hiked Hollywood Hills with friends from New Orleans, checked out more sights around the city, set up hammock in the canopy of a large tree near Hollywood Hills.
Day 15 (May 20): hitched along Route 1, explored coastline and beaches, made it to Malibu, stayed with a fellow traveler up in the mountains overlooking the ocean.
Day 16 (May 21): traveled up to Pismo Beach, where I was picked up by a family friend, toured the surrounding area, stayed at his place in Bakersfield.
Day 17 (May 22): took trip to Sequoia National Park, hiked the Trail of 100 Giants, hiked/wandered wilderness for the afternoon/evening, set up hammock overlooking the mountains at about 7,000 feet for the night.
Day 18 (May 23): walked/hitched all day to get down from mountains, caught rides and made it to Las Vegas, explored the strip, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, etc. until about 4 a.m. and deciding to continue hitching without sleeping in the city.
Day 19 (May 24): caught rides to get out of the city, stopped to check out Zion National Park, wound up in Richfield, Utah for the night and camped near a truck stop along I-70.
Day 20 (May 25): traveled east on I-70, stopped to swim at a few hot springs in Glenwood Springs, caught a few more rides and made it to Denver, picked up by a friend who lives in Denver and stayed at her place for the night.
Day 21 (May 26): woke up very early, went to Manitou Springs Incline, completed the hike in 55 minutes, went to Boulder, Colordao, and met up with my brother and his girlfriend, caught a free outdoor concert and explored the area/a festival that was taking place in the city, stayed at friend’s place for the night.
Day 22 (May 27): got dropped off in downtown Denver, plan to explore the city today.
Langenkamp is the son of Jim and Marci Langenkamp and has just completed his sophomore year at Ohio State University, Columbus, where he is majoring in nursing/pre-med.
Langenkamp’s Great American Adventure can be followed on Instagram, @thegreatamericanadventure, https://www.instagram.com/thegreatamericanadventure/, and on Facebook, The Great American Adventure, https://www.facebook.com/The-Great-American-Adventure-151667365472894/.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.