10-mile trek in snow 'wasn't that bad' for Apex woman
Posted February 13
Apex, N.C. — When Susan Pelliccio, a nursing professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tells her students the story of walking 10 miles uphill in the blowing snow, she means it literally.
The account is no tall tale for the Apex resident, who decided to abandon her car at the Cary Crossroads shopping center during Wednesday’s snowstorm and walk the rest of the way home.
“I was coming from Durham from the VA with a group of students, and I made it that far…I just parked because I dreaded the hills,” she said.
Like hundreds of other drivers who were trapped on the roads during the storm, Pelliccio started walking. That’s when WRAL News photojournalist Richard Adkins encountered her along Tryon Road at Kreisler Drive.
After her interview aired on television Wednesday afternoon, many viewers wanted to know whether she made it safely. In a phone interview Thursday, she recalled her grueling trek home.
“I underestimated the distance and then just took it as a challenge until the last mile, when I was just about ready to collapse,” Pelliccio said. “Someone came along and offered a hand, and I got some help for that last mile.”
Pelliccio said she was dressed for the weather, so the walk wasn’t that bad – until she was pelted with freezing rain when she reached Ten Ten and Kildaire Farm roads. The worst part, she said, was stopping somewhere to use the restroom only to find the doors locked.
The journey took four hours.
“I feel great,” she said. “My feet, which usually hurt anyway, hurt a little more. But a couple of Tylenol and I’m fine.”
Since appearing on the news, Pelliccio said she’s heard from many former students and friends who saw her on television and reached out to make sure she was OK.
“I feel like a celebrity,” she said.