KULPMONT, Pa. — Walt Lutz is back in Kulpmont and full of stories. He just spent four months hiking more than 1,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail.
"Here I am to tell the tale, Miss Nikki," Walter Lutz said. "The journey was incredible."
A hike of that magnitude would be a challenge for anyone, but Walt is no spring chicken.
"I'm an old person; I'm going to be 71 in two weeks. The truth is the truth," he said.
Walt started his hike in May at Clingman's Dome, North Carolina, the highest point of the Appalachian Trail. He says the best part of his trip was the people he met. He had a bad fall about 200 miles into his hike, and two strangers helped him.
"Took my pack, gave me water. When I got to the trailhead, they had an ambulance waiting for me," Walt said.
Another hiker warned Walt about something else that could have landed him in the hospital.
"He said, 'Stop!' He said, 'Back up!' I did what he said; I backed up. I saw a rattlesnake that was this big around, and it was right where I was going," Walt said.
But what kept him going for more than 1,000 miles was the reason he was hiking in the first place.
"I did the hike in honor of 9/11, volunteer firemen, and as a fundraiser, so we'd be able to get a new fire truck," Walt said.
Walt raised more than $15,000 for the Kulpmont Fire Department to help buy a new truck.
"I'd do anything for the firefighters," Walt said.
So what's next for the soon-to-be 71 year old? He says lots of rest.
"Broken finger, I have a dislocated ankle bone. I have something going on here from my pack. I need to heal up a little bit," Walt said.
Walt says after he rests up, swimming the English Channel isn't out of the question!