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Friday, September 17, 2010

A Friendly Place: The MWO Forum

So, it has only been a year now that I have been hiking regularly, and I have really grown to appreciate our spectacular mountains in New Hampshire. It has become such a large part of my life and I'm happy that I can share it with my wife, and at times, with my good friends. As I dive further into online forums and blogs, I continue to meet great people within the New Hampshire hiking community who share the same love for the mountains and nature as I do. However, when looking back at what sites have been the most helpful to me as a fairly new hiker, one forum sticks out above all others, the Mount Washington Observatory (MWO) Forum.

When I first got into hiking, as I'm sure most people do, I researched mountains and trails to see what type of information was out there. It wasn't long before I found many different forums and resources that were extremely helpful. I joined a few to start and commented only briefly and with caution, as most of the time I didn't know what I was talking about (in most cases, I still don't). Now that a year has past and I slowly become a more active participant in the digital hiking community within New Hampshire, I can honestly say that the members of the MWO Forum have been the most helpful to me personally. I feel that they have been the most open in accepting me into their wonderful community and I feel very comfortable being an active participant in daily discussions. Now please understand, I'm not knocking any other forum out there or putting them down, I'm simply saying that for me, as an individual and a new hiker, I felt they accepted me as a new member with open arms.

The members of this forum make you feel like a friend from the beginning. I've had members seek me out on Facebook and request to a be a friend. I've had members read my blog and comment on it. I've had members reach out to me and offer to sponsor me for other forums that are closed to new members without the sponsorship. I know these things may seem minor, but they aren't to me. They are very kind gestures that I very much appreciate. These things make a newer hiker like myself feel welcome into the hiking community in New Hampshire.

So this blog post is for you, MWO Forum Members. Thanks for helping another New Hampshire hiker find his place in the hiking community. Thanks for being friendly even though we don't physically know each other in most instances. And thanks for all the kind words you respond with, for each and every post!

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