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94-year-old pipeline worker logs 136K miles

by Jennifer Lee

Caledonia, N.Y. - Stanley Rychlicki, 94, has logged tens of thousands of miles walking in western New York and Pennsylvania. He did most of it walking for his job for more than 35 years as a pipeline inspector.

He recalls his first day on the job. Rychlicki said he walked 21 miles over the Appalachian Mountain in nine hours. He even considered quitting.

"Because my shoes got full of blood and blisters," he said.

But through hurricanes, ten below zero temperatures and 400 pairs of shoes, Rychlicki stuck with it. He always walked alone at times more than 20 miles in a day.

"What they did with the pipeline, it went over isolated areas because there were chances of explosion every day," said Rychlicki.

Only twice did he discover faulty pipes. It was other obstacles that made it tough on the road.

Rychlicki said he'll never forget the summer day he tried to clear the shrubs off of a meter.

"I hit it," said Rychlicki, "Right when I hit it, it was full of yellow jackets."

He tried to run away from the insects but ended up tripping right into a wild pheasant.

"He kept flapping me in the face with his wings a million miles an hour trying to get out and the yellow jackets were having a good time eating whatever I had on me," said Rychlicki.

Rychlicki pulled through, and now sees it was those testing moments that led up to his record of "Longest Distance Covered over a Walking Career," logging 136,880 miles.

"Don't ever give up and things will work out," said Rychlicki.

 
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