Is it just the whitespace, or the fact you can't "scan" titles as easy?
In all honesty I have plans for that whitespace - the idea would be to allow Trip Reports to be categorized by specific region and/or trail and display the information there. Another option would be to show the first, say, 40 words of the TR there to get people's interest.
I have no clue where half of the TRs are, and as a result I find myself skipping many of them. My hope was that the photos (and other content?) would make the site a bit more fun and interesting.
One thing I played with on the development server was a variant that removed all of the columns completely. Each Trip Report item was composed of a photo, title, poster, and date - but all in the same box. Sort of like:
[-----] My Really Cool Stein Trip
[Photo] July 1, 2009 - Fraser Canyon, British Columbia
[-----] Participants: ShadowChaser, LongShadow
Each "TR item" is about "50% wide" and tossed into a large two column stack. LongShadow and I tested the idea but it was a very early prototype at the time. Obviously we would need to program "region linking", "trail linking", and "participant" metadata for Trip Reports.
Current layout isn't right though, but I'm definitely open to ideas. Should I rip out the icons for the photo entries? Does anyone care if it doesn't show "stickies" or "locks" for Trip Reports?