Amazon Prime is amazing. My new backpack was shipped about an hour after I ordered it and I was able to track its every move. I knew it had been delivered to the motel before the desk clerk had time to call me. Now I’m in proud possession of a brand new Osprey Exos 48 backpack which is the single most common backpack carried by thru-hikers on the A.T. (with the Exos 58 coming in at a close second place).

There isn’t much to reprot today as it was a pretty lazy zero day. I ate the other half of my cannoli cake for breakfast and walked back to the Sycamore Grill for an early dinner. Until my backpack arrived, I spent the rest of the day writing my journals.

Moving into a new backpack is not as easy as it sounds. The Exos 48 is slightly smaller than my Zpacks Arc Blast, so it was a tight squeeze to get all my gear transferred over. I’m certain that as I become more familiar with all of the nooks and crannies of my new home that I will be able to pack everything more efficiently. But for now, it looks like it is going to workout just fine.

Way back after Hot Springs, NC, I met Tin Cup and Hot Tea when I emerged from my tent after that terrible rain storm when I was denied entry to the shelter by a day hiker. The last time I saw Hot Tea was in Damascus, VA, but I have been following her on Facebook and knew that she was about four or five days behind me. Today I saw the devastating news on Facebook that she had fallen in Pennsylvania and broke her femur. I don’t know the details of exactly where it happened or how she managed to stabilize her leg to get off of the mountain (I know she walked out), but her thru-hike has ended for this year. The haunting thing is that with one wrong step, the same thing could have easily happened to any of us. Best wishes, Hot Tea, for a complete and speedy recovery.

Today, I’m feeling well rested and healed and I’m excitedly looking forward to start hiking through a new state tomorrow. At least for me, the journey continues.