Dan Doan. There’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time. I came across a few of his hiking guides on Sunday as I was going through my bookshelves, weeding out books I haven’t used in a long time, for donation to our local library.
When I was getting back into hiking again a few years back, I bought a few of Dan’s books including 50 Hikes in the White Mountains and 50 More Hikes in New Hampshire. They’re great if you want to hike some classic day hikes in New Hampshire but aren’t familiar with the area. Published by Backcountry Guides, they spawned the entire 50 hike series, spanning most of the states in the US and selling over 1 million copies.
His senses seemed to expand and reach out toward the woods and hills around him, absorbing the pine smell the green trees, and blue skies, the soft earth, the muted bird calls, and the breeze in the boughs. His senses focused all of these things like a magnifying glass concentrating the sun’s rays until he was on fire with joy.
from The Crystal Years by Dan Doan.
Dan Doan, the man, was an avid hiker and fisherman in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he raised chickens after school, before going to work for the paper industry. A prolific writer, he published his first novel, The Crystal Years, in 1952. He died in 1993 after struggling with complications from diabetes.
Thanks Dan. Your books gave me an easy way to ramp up my hiking again and get to know the White Mountains. You have my gratitude and I’ll be keeping your books on my shelf for a while longer.
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