Ilkay Karakurt and Friederike Traub arrived in Leesburg today after a journey that began in Oakland, CA, in February.
The two German hikers walked 1,300 miles, hitchhiking occasionally, to make it across the continent.
“You get to know the people, the country, the landscape,” Karakurt said.
They were forced to hitchhike by some of the country wide, desolate places, such as Nevada, where the journey between towns was too far to carry enough water on their backs.
“I think it’s a good way to explore a country, because you see a lot more,” Traub said.
The two decided to hike the United States instead of Europe because they say Europe is too densely populated. In the U.S., by contrast, “you can travel or hike for days, and not see anybody.”
Karakurt left his job in information technology to make the trip. Traub just finished a bachelor’s degree. When his journeys are over, Karakurt said, he will take up professional photography full-time.
To see their journeys—and if you speak German—visit their website at eastcoasttogo.com.