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Re: [AT-L] N Departure Dates

  Regarding earlier versus later departure dates:  the earlier dates
mean you will encounter fewer people, and you will have more "pad time"
to enjoy you hike before you finish it .  Leaving in late April or early 
May may mean more crowded shelters, and you may feel more "rushed" to 
get to Maine. A downside by leaving earlier is that you will need to carry
more clothing/equipment for the colder weather. During the first week, it
helps to only do 8-10 mile days, as your feet and body will thank 
you later;  starting earlier "assists" this, so to speak, since the days 
are much shorter.  Another factor is that by starting earlier, you can 
avoid "some" of the heat and humidity that are present in the mid-atlantic 
states--you might not get a taste of that until mid Pennsylvania, if you're 
lucky.  Maybe you've guessed by now that I'm in favor of earlier than later 
dates, particulary where heat and humidity are involved!