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Unexpected trail magic and shelter from a storm

Got to the Fish Hatchery at Tellico and was expecting to have to walk a mile or two to get my package from Keith according to the map.

When I got there, I followed the sign up to the fish, only to realize it is only 250 feet off the BMT! How smart to send a package there instead of trying to hitch to the far away, spread out Tellico Plains!

I waited at the office of the fish hatchery for almost an hour with no Keith–and was freaking out. I had plenty of food, but wanted my package. Also, I was watching a very severe storm crawl into the hills north of me.

Keith showed up in his green truck (future note: he says “If the green truck isn’t here, I’m not there.”), and immediately offered to let me stay the night at his house. I couldn’t resist, and had a fantastic time. Keith knew tons about the history of the TN mountains and the natural environment around me. I felt so lucky to have run into such a nice, friendly, generous person. That’s trail magic–all the cool people you meet along the trail who teach you things.

Liz "Snorkel" Thomas

Liz Thomas is a well-traveled adventure athlete most known for breaking the women’s unsupported speed record on the Appalachian Trail in 2011. She has completed the Triple Crown of Hiking–the Appalachian Trail, the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail, and 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail–and has backpacked over 15,000 miles across the United States. While not on trail, Liz lives in Denver, Colorado.