71-Year-Old Hiker Breaks Into Song Upon Completing Grueling 2,653-Mile Trail


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A post shared by True Blue (@milesformoments)

For some folks, hiking is an activity done for a couple of miles at a time. But for others, it’s a lifestyle. Those who trek the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) fall into the latter category. The PCT is 2,653 miles long and stretches from the border of Mexico and California, and it ends where Washington State meets Canada. Along the way, hikers venture through the desert, up mountains, and traverse seven national parks. It’s a grueling journey with a low completion rate; just 14% of all hikers attempting a “thru-hike” succeed in finishing the PCT. The hike’s reputation is what makes 71-year-old Pa'at’s completion of the journey all the more extraordinary.

The hiker known as Pa'at (most people go by nicknames, also called trail names) finished the last bit of the PCT with two younger hikers, Auti and Chris. The duo celebrated Pa'at's success via an Instagram post. “Not many people can say they’ve accomplished such an incredible feat—especially not at 71!” They write.

In the accompanying viral video, Pa'at approaches the trail-end marker and touches it, amazed that he had made it to the end. The septuagenarian then breaks into song. “I’ve been waiting… such a long time,” he begins. “Walking such a long way. Such a long way… just to be here, just to be here. Across deserts. I walked through rivers, I climbed mountains, just to see you. Just to see you. I’ve been waiting. Such a long time.”

For anyone who has ever dreamed of hiking the PCT, Pa’at’s feat is proof that they're not too late. “I wanted to walk this trail a long time” someone lamented on Twitter, “but now I know even if I don’t get it in my twenties or thirties I can still try and try again!

Auti and Chris met Pa’at in Stehekin, Washington, which is about 80 miles from the Northern Terminus—the marker for the end of the trail in the U.S. “We only knew him a few days before finishing, but he’s one of those people you instantly feel like you’ve known a lifetime,” they said. “He has a heart of gold, the kindest soul, and unmatched optimism and fortitude. Thank you for being such an inspiration to us, Pa’at!”

A 71-year-old hiker named Pa’at completed the grueling Pacific Crest Trail. Upon reaching the end, he broke into song:


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A post shared by Auti and Chris (@humping_north)

The viral video resonated with many people, who expressed joy for Pa'at and found inspiration for their own hikes.

h/t: [Upworthy]

Related Articles:

How This Man and His Dog Spent Seven Years Walking Around the World

Missing Hiker Rescued After Man on Twitter Found His Location From a Photo of His Feet

Meet the 5-Year-Old Boy Who Hiked the 2,100-Mile Appalachian Trail in 209 Days

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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