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Walking Don Moseman

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

I recently posted this old portrait of the 57 year-old "Walking" Don Moseman on Mount Tamalpais, in the San Francisco Bay Area circa 1997.

An interesting story was born from this shoot. I met Don that day, capturing images of him for Competitor/ City Sports magazine. He was known for walking everywhere, often crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, starting in San Francisco, walking up Mt. Tam, sleeping where ever he chose to stop and rest. He was an Earthy new-age spirit, gentle and soft spoken.

Fast forward to August 1998, I'm in East Glacier, Montana awaiting my Sunset magazine editor for an assignment in Glacier National Park. Driving through the small town that morning, I see Don walking entering the city limits. I stop to say hello and he blurts out "Sean! Nice to see you! What are you doing here?". I explained, then asked "More importantly, what are doing here?". We decided to have breakfast and he shared his adventure. "I've been walking across United States. I started in April and have gone through five pairs of shoes. This last part through Nebraska was very tough with the towns so far apart. I'm so glad to be in the mountains." I preceded to ask where he was going from there. "I'm headed toward Seattle, then down the coast, back to San Francisco". As we parted ways I wished him good luck, and off I went on my photo shoot.

Come October, I was on another magazine assignment, this time along the Mendocino Coast in Northern California. It was a busy day of shoots and I was rushing to catch the last light of day with some horseback riders on a beach. As I entered an intersection along Highway 1, the light turning yellow, I noticed off to the right there was Walking Don Moseman heading south along the sidewalk in Fort Bragg, a hundred miles from his destination. I wasn't able to stop to greet him, but it was such a funny coincidence to catch him again on his journey.

Small world.

© Sean Arbabi | (all rights reserved worldwide) #portraitphotography #smallworld #walkingacrosstheus #nikonphotography

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