I suppose I should start off by telling you that I have said goodbye to snow FOR GOOD! (Well at least until the Whites - I'll cross that emotional bridge when I get to it). But yes, it is in fact true, the last time I saw that horrid white stuff was April 6th. Thank God/Allah/Mother Earth or whoever else may be up there.
The weird thing that we weren't expecting with the dramatic exit of snow, was for three days after the final snowstorm to be sweating in 90 degree heat. Yes, you read that right. 90 degree heat. Now I don't mean to complain, but I was sort of hoping for some nice mellow weather after surviving such an extreme Winter. You know, maybe have some of that thing called Spring. It's pretty nice. Unfortunately the state of Virginia seemed to have missed second grade science class and is a little unclear of how the seasons work. For it seemed to have skipped right over Spring, and has immediately progressed to Summer. Virginia Summer. Now don't get me wrong, I am so, incredibly, beyond grateful that I no longer have to breathe on my trail runners in the morning to defrost them, but going from worrying about hypothermia to worrying about heat exhaustion is not a whole lot of improvement.
Highlights of that SMOKIN' day include Aloha digging through his medicine bag for several minutes trying to find his guide book before realizing it was his med kid, me unable to do simple subtraction to figure out shelter distances, much dizziness, night hiking, and to top it all off - a forest fire! Peachy.
Fortunately, we thru-hikers are a rather tough specimen and have taken the heat in stride by sticking our heads in rivers, lounging about shelters in the midday heat, and night hiking. (In case ya'll were wondering, our smelliness has risen exponentially as a result of the heat. Fun fact.)
A highlight of all the heat though was the discovery of Captains! Captain is a Trail Angel whose house resides across a river that the AT follows for a few miles. To help hikers out, he has allowed thru-hikers to tent in his yard, as well as on his porch. BUT the real kick is, to get across the river to his house, he has set up a zip-line swing! So my friends and I spent a few hours playing around on the swing and hanging out with his beautiful border collies. Another fun surprise on the trail!