Today marks the third anniversary of Modern Hiker, spun off of a now-defunct personal blog in the latter days of 2006. December 10th was the day the modernhiker.com domain launched, with some stories about a Yosemite exhibit at the Autry Center and a proposed trash dump near Joshua Tree (that’s STILL being fought, unbelievably), and the site has come a long way.
Since then, I’ve written almost 680 posts and archived 75 trail write-ups for hikes all over California, with a few in Arizona and even Japan for good measure. I’ve met some some other great outdoor bloggers, like Kolby from 100 Hikes, Rebecca from Calipidder, Eileen from Rockgrrl, the team behind What Would Ed Do?, and a bunch more great outdoor writers and explorers from the Gore-Tex Experience More Summit. I’ve made some great partnerships with Backpacker.com and OpenSky, and finally got around to starting to build a Storefront.
Throughout it all, readership has increased and – especially this year – become much more vocal on comments, emails, and the Forum. It’s been really rewarding for me to read everyone’s feedback, criticisms, and personal trail stories along the way, but my favorite comments are from readers like The Pooles, who were visiting Los Angeles from Florida and wanted to know where they should hike. I gave them a few suggestions and they sent me this great email:
You’re right – Los Angeles should be known for its hiking. I was floored at how spectacular our hikes were and the fact that we were usually the only hikers in sight.
It was cool getting your personal response – I bragged to my friends and family that my newfound hero (whose awesome blog I had been closely studying all week) actually sent me an email.
We ended up doing the Mishe Mokwa/Sandstone Peak and Sunset Peak hikes – both were amazing and suited us perfectly. Your directions and input definitely improved the experience for us. I particularly appreciated the EveryTrail map that I used (along with google street view) to locate the exact location of the Sunset Peak trailhead (I printed the attached for my navigating wife).
-James and Joy Poole
I started this site not only as a way to try some nonfiction writing and post pictures for my personal record, but as a means to motivate other Angelenos to explore and discover the wilderness that I’d come to know and love. Most people still don’t immediately think of hiking when Los Angeles comes to mind … but if we keep this up for a while longer, maybe they will.
Thank you all so much for your continued support and interest … and especially thanks to anyone who’s ever bought something from the Shop or my sponsors on the right! They help keep this site alive and hiking!
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