First post, WHOO!!
Anyways ... I am a high school senior at the moment, but I plan to hike the AT after I get my bachelors. The problem is, when?
Ideally, between getting my bachelors and getting my masters (I plan on becoming an atmospheric scientist), I would spend half a year thru-hiking and half a year doing internships, menial jobs, etc. If I hike immediately after I get my degree in mid-May, I would be starting extremely late. If I wait for winter and start early in the next year, I'd have to start extremely early.
Ending with the most beautiful states in northern New England seems like a given, so whether a flip-flop south to come back north or a general NOBO thru, I know I at least have to end with them.
So, which way would you guys suggest? Head north in May and haul ass, suffer the heat in the middle, enjoy the foliage in the north, and worry about reaching Katahdin too late? Or, head north after winter in early March when everything's barren, end in late August, and suffer the real world only a week or two after? Or... something more creative .
If you're wondering why I'm thinking about something four years before it'll happen, I'm a sadistic over-planner by nature