Towards the end of Mike Posner's walk across America, he encountered a rattlesnake, and that was almost the end of his journey for good.
One afternoon, Posner finally reached the decade-old Fleetwood RV that an assistant drove ahead of him every day. Sore and sweaty after a long day, he took a break and let his guard down. Standing beside his home on wheels, he felt a sudden sting, then heard the rattle. A fan who'd been walking with him late that morning rushed to the road, found a skosh of cell service and called for help. Posner tried to keep the mood light, insisting he'd be back on the road after a jolt of anti-venom. But then his brain began to slow down, the world going dark for 30 seconds at a time. "It felt like the end of Looney Tunes, where the circle gets smaller and smaller like I was fading away," he says.
Half an hour later he was airlifted to a nearby hospital for the first round of anti-venom treatment, but unfortunately had to be relocated to a second hospital because that one ran out of the supplies he needed. He spent days learning to walk again after the bite had absolutely depleted his strength.
About three weeks after the incident, he returned to State Highway 10, the same spot where he'd seen the snake. He headed west on foot, this time without his headphones in. He was inches from death, and recalls the operator telling him that she wasn't sure if he would live. However, dying from a rattlesnake bite is incredibly rare, and only around 5 people actually succumb each year.