As we finish our adventure with Letcher County native Hoss Collins and his fight to overcome multiple sclerosis so he can do the things he use to do, the pleasure has been all mine.
The messages about this Struttin’ Time series have made me humble, hearing from people that have lived through family with the same infection. Thank you all, your words have made me a better person.
Day three began as a wet, windy, cold, nasty day.
Hoss had his shelter built close to the ground, and he had enclosed the entire structure in plastic. Hoss had cut several vent holes to allow a nice flow of air, and not big enough to let his much-needed heat escape.
The emergency blankets actually drew heat from the fire. His chore that day was trying to keep the fire going on such a nasty day, find much needed food, and staying warm.
More than anything, Hoss wanted to stay dry. He let his fire die and stayed in the warmth of the tent. Hoss took time to make himself a crawdad trap from a plastic drinking bottle. He cut the top of the bottle off, inverted it, used some duct tape to secure it and used it to catch a crawdad. He used the guts of the bluegill he had caught the first day as bait.
After the rain slowed, Hoss was able to catch two more bluegill, and the one crawdad. After pinching off the pincers, he ate it raw. With two bluegill, the crawdad, and some walnuts, he thought he had a feast. The day was over, Hoss needed just one more day to prove his point, that he still had what it takes. Dark and peace came fast, and Hoss slept.
His final day was a quick one, and he felt his goal of surviving had been accomplished, so he arose very early, walked to his Jeep, and drove home.
His first stop was to get some breakfast and a hot cup of coffee.
In his words, “I was humbled by the number of people that followed my journey through Facebook and made some very inspiring post to me.” He goes on to say, “Without God looking out for me, my family, friends, and others supporting me, all this would not have been possible. My goal was to see if I could do it, and to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis and to write a book, called ‘Surviving with MS.’ I hope to have it finished soon.”
If you readers will permit, on a personal note I hope you have been inspired by our trip with Hoss.