Rose Parade 2013: Indiana road trippers 'just want to see it in person'
They've driven across country, scaled mountains in Utah and California and gambled in Las Vegas, but even for a group of thrill-seeking 20-somethings from Purdue University, their trip wasn't complete without a stop by the Rose Parade.
"I've seen it on TV before, I just want to see it in person," said Ian Dryg, 23, a graduate student studying bio-engineering. "Its cool how they just let us set up here."
Dryg and six of his friends rented a truck and headed out from Indiana on Dec. 16, the day after finals. Their goal: climb mountains and enjoy the winter break.
Their destination: wherever the road took them.
Each of them had to plan a stop on their journey. But as their makeshift beds in a Pasadena alley would seem to indicate, the trip was more improvisation than organization. They spent the night nearby in New Year's Eve revelry, then decided the alley off Colorado Boulevard would be be a good place to crash.
The Southern California winter was no match for their sleeping bags designed for sub-zero temperatures. Their beards were scraggly, their clothes worn, but their spirits were high.
"We're definitely getting used to the cold," Dryg said.
The band of adventurers are staying in the city one more night before heading to the Grand Canyon. By Saturday they'll be back in Indiana with stories as colorful as the parade.
-- Joseph Serna
Photo: Lidia Barrera tries to stay warm before the start of the 2013 Rose Parade. Credit: Christina House / For The Times