A very widely known and respected blog out there is John Compton’s, “1HappyHiker” blog. It is fairly new to the blogosphere since John has only been writing it for 8 months or so, but he is really a seasoned veteran when it comes to writing articles, trip reports and participating in the digital hiking community. John has been a valuable contributor to the Views From The Top (VFTT) forum as well as the Mount Washington Observatory (MWObs) forum. He has even been published in some local newspapers.
If you've seen this happy guy on the forums, you've probably met John
In my opinion, his blog is very popular for a couple reasons. First, his content is extremely interesting and useful. When reading John’s blog postings (as well as his forum contributions), I find that he writes mostly trip reports, which I believe are the most interesting thing to read from a hiker's standpoint. He visits locations in mostly New Hampshire and Maine and is extremely detailed in his reports. He typically takes the roads less traveled and does a lot of bushwhacking as well. His reports always contain wonderful, high resolution images that capture his stories and landscapes perfectly. He takes these stunning photographs with his Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 point and shoot camera, which is really impressive…hopefully he won’t be upset with me that I just disclosed his secret weapon :) .
John's 1HappyHiker Blog
I think my favorite parts of John’s posts are the geography facts and trail history that he shares with his readers. He adds interesting education lessons to his posts that are so intriguing to White Mountain hikers. For instance, did you know there was once an old carriage road on the south banks of the Ammonoosuc River, between Twin Mountain and Zealand Road? Read about it here and check out how he compared old photographs to ones he snapped on his trek, while trying to match up the locations. Also, did you know that the town of Stark in New Hampshire was home to a German POW Camp during World War II. Read about it here! Along with these examples, John’s posts are full of interesting facts about old railroads that once ran through the Whites, cool old porcelain signs that still hang on the trails from many years ago and many other cool facts about the Whites.
John's comparative photo of an old carriage road and now a snowmobile trail in the Whites!
He also utilizes maps in most of his trip reports. Now, I don’t do this, but I feel like I should start. Having a map available that clearly highlights the path taken in the report is extremely useful for someone who may want to follow in your footsteps. When my wife and I started out hiking a couple years back, we went in search for these types of reports with maps. It gave us a sense of comfort to know that someone else had mapped out the same trip as we did and helped us get over our initial intimidation of the enormous, and sometimes dangerous, White Mountains. John's posts will be a useful resource for beginner hikers as well as seasoned hikers for years to come.
A great example of one of John's 2d map, highlighting his route for his trip report!
Another example of a map that John created. I love the 3d affect!
In closing, I want to say that John is an all-around nice guy! If you confer with him through the forums or through the comments on his blog or even via email, you’ll find out quickly that he is extremely helpful, knowledgeable and good-natured. He also helps to keep our trails in great shape. He’s a volunteer trail maintainer for both the AMC and USFS. I encourage you to drop by his blog, 1HappyHiker. It is a must-stop site if you enjoy hiking in any capacity! Keep up the great work, John!
Please note that all images for this posting were retrieved from John's 1HappyHiker blog and are his property.