Day 33 Mile 331

Magic – The 501 Shelter

Volunteerism makes the AT work. And the trail pays back in unimaginable ways.

The 501 is a shelter located in the middle of nowhere off PA 501. Arriving early, we offered to help and found ourselves sanding and painting a couple of picnic tables.

Never expected to find a paint brush in hand while hiking!

Later, “Nobros” (Northbound Brothers), age 19 & 21, arrived at the end of their 35-mile (!) hiking day. They shared that they live about 30 miles east of Columbus, OH.

Rog was on it. “Newark area?”

“Granville, actually,” came their surprised response.

“You have a great coffee shop by the river!”

“River Road Cafe!” They replied in unison, laughing.

What are the odds we strangers have all been to this tiny spot in the universe? Weird.

An hour later a tall gent in his mid-twenties rolled in for the night after starting 1,193 miles ago in GA.

We knew this hiker! “Danger Boy” worked at Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano with our daughter, and was the (most excellent) server at Rog’s January 2019 retirement luncheon, leaving mere weeks later for the trail.

What are the odds?

Are you kidding me?!

We enjoyed a great evening around the large table sharing connections and stories.

“Trail Magic” happens in different ways. When just the right item appears in a hiker box, you’re able to help out, find common ground with others, or land in a warm dry spot on a cold rainy day. We’re enjoying the journey and all of the surprises it brings!

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