Local News

10-mile trek in snow 'wasn't that bad' for Apex woman

Posted February 13, 2014

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.

— 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.


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  • wayneboyd Feb 13, 2014

    This is my kind of lady, if it has to happen and there's no alternative, make it happen. She's cut from good cloth. Kudos to those who loaned a hand along the way.
    I'll bet I can guess the first story the little one will be told.

  • busyb97 Feb 13, 2014

    For those thinking this isn't a big deal...could YOU have done it?

    I'm with the others. It's nice to read GOOD news stories, vs always the doom and gloom.

  • George Costanza Feb 13, 2014
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    you know it did restore my hope in people watching strangers help others whenneeded. Hope a politician will NEVER give me.

  • Heather Brittingham Feb 13, 2014
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    So watch the Olympics and stop reading WRAL if you don't like the stories they are sharing.

    I think it's awesome that she made that walk! We only walked the dogs a mile or a mile and a half yesterday and the wind was blowing the snow around like crazy. It was cold and I was dressed for it. I feel for the folks who weren't dressed for it who had to walk home because they got stuck!

  • mafiamic Feb 13, 2014

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    You knew him as well?,are you my lost long cousin? or brother?,wow the miracles that snow emergencies bring,hey WRAL here is a story.

  • George Costanza Feb 13, 2014
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    You know whats funny? in a couple months we'll be talking about how hot it is. Well, it's not the heat.... it's the humidity.

  • iron fist Feb 13, 2014

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    Up hill both ways :} I have heard that story too.

  • mafiamic Feb 13, 2014

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    Some people are not concerned with "Human interest stories",yes it is good in some instances but those stories are no concerned to others when they are trying to deal with theuir ownproblems and get through this.
    That happenes all the time an equal time thing first comes the tragedies then the human interest stories..That's how the news works 20 minutes of doom and gloom then 5 minutes of sports which also include doom and gloom and 5 minutes of ads.
    What will make most people happy is to get the roads clear and for some back to work for there were many who left their cars on I-40 and other places and walked.
    I still want to know why the photographer didn't offer to give her a ride home?

  • KimJongUn Feb 13, 2014

    All these ppl saying "lighten up"....are you that starved for entertainment that this is actually a story to you? I think you might need to get out more! Wait, nevermind, that might involve some outdoor walking...

    Side note: There is this thing called the Olympics in a place called Sochi where ppl are busting their behinds doing things in the snow and ice. Maybe we could talk about that instead of a story about woman who took a walk.

  • ncprr1 Feb 13, 2014

    Lighten up people. It's not like she was complaining about it. Good for her. Just a basic human interest story, no big deal.