67-year-old man sets record hiking Arizona Trail round trip in under a year
SUN CITY, Ariz. (KPHO/KTVK) — If there was ever a man who defined the phrase “age is just a number,” it’s Art Huseonica.
“It’s been a passion since I was 10 years old,” he said. “I’m 67 years old! Why do I want to do this?” he laughed.
He goes by “Karts” on the trails these days. He’s been hiking mountains since he was a little boy, and now lives in Sun City.
But one day, a woman at his favorite diner suggested a challenge on the Arizona Trail.
“She goes, ‘Art you have a wonderful opportunity to yo-yo the trail’ and I go ‘Yo-yo? I don’t want to play yo-yo the whole way on the trail,’” said Huseonica.
Turns out, she meant a roundtrip hike from Mexico to Utah and back down, 800 miles each way.
And Huseonica set off.
“I hit a bad snow storm and it was off and on like that through the rest of the hike,’ he said.
The trip took a total of 150 days to finish, and every day he’d hike for 12 hours at a time.
At night, he slept in a tent, and sometimes just slept on the bare ground.
At times, he didn’t think he would be able to finish it in under a year, something only two people in their 20s had done before him.
“This is where it really counts. Up here… the mental stamina,” he said, pointing to his head.
But he would move mountains to make this happen… or at least climb up and down them.
“Okay, I can do this! Keep going, Art!” he said he would tell himself during the grueling hike.
And last week, 1,600 miles later, he did it.
“Finished Dec. 12, 12/12, at 12 p.m.” he said. “This is really, really special and it’s still sinking in just how special that was.”
67 years old, but still that passionate 10-year-old at heart.
Always going the extra mile, just this time, plus a thousand more.