KULPMONT, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — One man hiked 1,000 miles along the east coast to honoring those who perished in the 9/11 attacks.
The proceeds will help first responders.
“Yesterday was a rough day! I hiked about 11 miles, 10.5 of it was on rocks and through boulder fields. I finished up about 4:00 and I was done,” Walter Lutz of Kulpmont said.
Nearly four months and 1,000 miles later, the 70-year-old Lutz has completed his journey.
The retired veteran wanted to honor the upcoming 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, so he hiked and raised money for the Kulpmont Fire Department to get a new fire truck.
“All donations are sincerely appreciated. It doesn’t have to be a big donation because they add up,” Lutz said.
1,000 miles through the Appalachian Mountains was anything but easy. Walt suffered an injury, had a run-in with bears and a rattlesnake, and caught COVID for the second time. But none of this could slow him down.
“Went to the VA, was having some gastronomical distress and says you’ve got COVID a second time after I got the shots. Took a day off, got back on the trails and let it rip,” Lutz said.
Walt was able to finish the hike before September 11th and couldn’t have done it without the kindness of strangers.
“I’m not exaggerating, they saved me. A young man in Virginia heard my story, had no money, and gave me his lucky dollar Sequoia coin as a good luck piece,” Lutz said.
Even through the challenges, Walt says it doesn’t compare to the sacrifices made by first responders.
“They gave all and they give all every day. And I want us never to forget that,” Lutz said.
So far Walt has helped raise $5,000 of his $25,000 goal for a new fire truck.
To learn more about donating, visit gofundme.com.