Dan the Walking Man


A compelling reflection about one of countless people who have been drawn to the Appalachian Trail for many reasons.

Bean & Weedo

Note: This was first published last year as a column in the Daily Collegian which can be read here:

I first met “Dan the Walking Man” in New York. We were both hiking on the Appalachian Trail and I was on the last mile of a 25 mile effort to get into town. I was hiking fast to get the day over with, so I had the chance to watch him for a few minutes as I slowly overtook him.

Often, he would he reach up to pull a leaf from a low-hanging branch and twirl it between his fingers as he walked. When I finally did catch up, I let out an exhausted “Hi. How are you?”

He just looked at me, and I walked on.

That night, we both trudged into Unionville, N.Y. and I was looking forward to a large pizza for dinner and hot coffee…

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Filed under Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, The Appalachian Trail, Timothy J. Hodges, Writing

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