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Tornados and ice

Apparently, there was a tornado last night in the TN/NC border area. Yikes! I’m glad I was inside for that. The power and sattelite TV kept flashing in and out.

It was cold and wet when I left. There was snow on the ground and large shards of rime fell from the trees. 6 inches long and an inch wide, the ice lined the tree tops and fell in big chunks on me.

I crossed some knee deep fords. The gnarliest was Brookshire Creek, where the crossing is right before a waterfall. All the rainfall last night swelled the creeks. I ended up crossing on a fallen live tree with a dbh (diameter at breast height) of like 3 inches. I kept thinking the entire time that I’m high up, above a roaring creek, crossing a very thin tree, that is slippery and wet. It ended up working out, though. Yay climbing for teaching me stuff about not being scared.

Little water today in the afternoon, especially since I didn’t want to go off trail. After 7 miles without water, I was about to resign myself to camping without water until I found a spring. The night ended with a beautiful sunset, a flowing spring box, and a beautiful night sleeping away from the wind inside an old abandoned two story building. Two trees were growing between the walls and I had a perfect place to set up my hammock. Full AT&T reception bars just added to the greatness

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.