90-Year-Old Hiker Climbs Mount Washington | NECN
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90-Year-Old Hiker Climbs Mount Washington

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015)

    Just one foot after the other. Dick Dreselly says hiking Mount Washington is that simple.

    When he talks about his most recent trip up the mountain, which he estimates was his 21st time, Dreselly said he simply "just kept going."

    "It wasn't anything virtuous," he said. "I'm just a lucky guy."

    Although he downplays it -- his hike is getting plenty of attention, including a spread in the Boston Globe.

    He said he didn't do it for publicity. He wanted to hike it because at 90 years old, he still can.

    Dreselly has been hiking for decades, and still tries to walk the Highlands trail (which he maintains) around his retirement community in Topsham, Maine, at least three times a week.

    "If you keep going, you can be active longer, maybe even live longer," he said.

    Recalling his recent hike up Mount Washington, he said no one doubted he could do it, or told him it was a bad idea. "They just know I do it," he said.

    There was only one moment he had second thoughts. Dreselly said an hour after he reached the summit, he was climbing down and his leg gave out.

    "I had difficulty standing up, and I thought 'My God, I am a liability and I'm embarrassed," he said.

    But it just took some help with his pack, and Dreselly was back on the trail. Putting one foot after the other.

    Since the 3-day, 8.5 mile hike on Labor Day weekend, Dreselly has had time to reflect.

    "I'm not thinking about how profound this is, I'm thinking about my past life, and my future life, and how beautiful this," he said.

    Although there were moments on Mount Washington where he thought it could be his last time, he has reconsidered. His dream is to do it ten years from now, and be the first 100-year-old to make it to the summit.

    "I realized, 'Hey, I can do this next year,'" he said. "I'll only be one percent older."  

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