OHIO-BOUND — His summer adventure is over. Rudy Langenkamp, of Russia, is ready to come home.
Langenkamp has been hitchhiking his way across the United States during his summer vacation from his studies at Ohio State University.
On Sunday, he was in Charleston, South Carolina, which was his final destination of his journey.
“I plan to ride back up to Ohio with some family after attending a wedding in the area,” said Langenkamp in a email.
“The trip got cut a few days short due to some unexpected work conflicts,” he said. “But, due to the fact that I traveled much faster and farther than originally expected, I’m happy with how/where/when the trip ended.”
Langenkamp said his research into the problem of industrial and commercial food waste was “extremely enlightening. I learned a lot about the issue along my travels and Ilook forward to the opportunity to continue researching this subject in the future.”
His summer journey has taken Langenkamp to 22 states and two countries. He’s traveled 6,515 miles and visited 30 major cities. He has received 150 rides while hitchhiking.
A breakdown of his last week of travel includes:
• Day 23, May 28: Left Denver and headed east on I-70 through Kansas City and got dropped off in St. Louis. Camped on outskirts of city.
• Day 24, May 29: Traveled through Louisville, Lexington, and ended up in Huntington, West Virginia. Camped along the interstate.
• Day 25, May 30: Traveled farther into West Virginia, ended up in Mossy, explored mountain area. Camped up in mountain range.
• Day 26, May 31: Did a 6 mile hike in Pax, caught a few rides to Princeton, explored the area and continued hiking through most of the night. Camped out, overlooking surrounding city.
• Day 27, June 1: Caught some rides and explored some small towns along the way, ended up in Wytheville, Virginia. Camped out near I-77 S.
• Day 28, June 2: Rode in a few truck beds into Statesville, North Carolina, picked up by friend who lives in Charlotte, explored city for the day, met up with some family in the area. Stayed at a hotel with family.
• Day 29, June 3: Traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, which is the final destination of my journey. Plan to ride back up to Ohio with some family after attending a wedding in the area.
“This has been the journey of a lifetime and one I won’t forget,” said Langenkamp. “I’m hopeful that these articles will encourage others to get out there and travel.
“In addition, I hope that those who have followed along will be more involved within their communities to do what they can to help others, who may be in a less fortunate situation. I’ve learned that speaking out/raising awareness about a serious issue in your community is like stopping and giving a hitchhiker a ride in the bed of your truck; it costs you absolutely nothing but is an easy way to help someone out,” he said.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.