Week 2: Hitting Milestones… Still a Mess

Today I find myself hunkered down in my tent on a ridge near Cold Spring Shelter (just a days hike from the NOC) hoping to ride out these looming thunderstorms all in one piece and mostly dry.

This morning I woke up before sunrise and hauled ass to this shelter, knowing the weather forecast and had convinced myself that I was going to break the shelter seal (I have a ridiculous fear of mice running across my face while sleeping) in the name of keeping gear less wet. However after 12 miles of serious hiking, I arrive to find the shelter already full and the promised tent sites closed for land reclamation. Hence the ridge. Those in the shelter hadn’t done the mileage we had and one shelter lady had the audacity to laugh and tell me, “I hear it’s cold up there, unlike down here.” First come first serve man… I’m trying not to hate them all. I really hate them all right now.


Tent selfie. So much hate.

However, I’m fortunate in that I arrived in time to set up my tent before the big rain so most my gear is dry. I have a bag of non-cookable food (declared it was too wet to cook) that is comprised mostly of candy bars (at some point that’s going to catch up with me) that I am slowly munching on. And tomorrow if I put in 12 miles I can have a nice cold Coke at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. So it’s not all that bad. I’m living every 5 year old’s dream of eating candy and poptarts for dinner.

I would like to restate the fact that I am a mess. This hasn’t changed since I left Hiawassee the first time (I had another short stay in Hiawassee over Easter, thank Ma!). But I’ve hit some major milestones.

Goodbye Georgia! Hello North Carolina!

Goodbye Georgia! Hello North Carolina!


Crossed that 100 mile mark

However everything comes with up and downs. My knee gash still looks gross (the doctor said it wasn’t infected). I had some knee pain. I’ve fallen several times, once soaking the butt of my pants and underwear in effort to not step in mud which I promptly stepped in. I threw away a pair of underwear I hated thinking that I could buy a new pair at the outfitters. (They didn’t.) Now I just have one pair. When my mother called the NOC to see if they did (they do) she failed to mention I still have a pair and when I roll in tomorrow I’m going to be known as the commando girl. (Thanks Ma…)

But I’ve met some great people. I ate dinner at a really nice restaurant and then went to the bars in Franklin, NC in my pajamas because the 5 other clothing items I have were being washed, and I was okay with it. The weather has been great (except for today, but I have service and can post! So that’s cool) I’ve received a ton of support from friends and family. I kinda cooked something that was decent other than couscous. My clothes smell less like fish. And I’ve come to realize that I’m totally fine doing my own thing. I spend a lot of time alone. I don’t think everyone is okay with that.

Not looking forward to dealing with this very muddy tent. Hoping it doesn’t blow away. Worse at some point I’m going to have to go hang my food bag/go to the bathroom. Not looking forward to that either. But in the meantime enjoying my candy and poptart dinner. So healthy.

PS I’m still on the hunt for a trail name. Nothing has really stuck.

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Comments 14

  • Jeremy Morris : Mar 31st

    Pop tarts?? AND coke? You’re an animal. Keep on trucking!

  • Kyle : Mar 31st

    Hi Molly, what cell service provider do you have? Sounds like you’ve had decent service.

    • Molly Bybee : Mar 31st

      I have Sprint. It’s okay. I think I might be in roam a lot… My friends that have Verizon have considerably better coverage than I do.

  • Robert : Mar 31st

    Glad to hear your in a some what sheltered status for the rain. It makes those days with sun shine feel even more special. Congrats on your efforts and milestones. Looking forward to many more.

  • Ethan : Apr 1st

    How has the name commando not just stuck? ;P

  • Bret : Apr 2nd

    Broken knee, gash, training wheels? These are all wonderful names. Sometimes you have to help the process and make a choice. Or have a poll/vote on your blog with the different names. Let the community choose by ballot. Glad to see you’re still on the trail. Doing a great job. Keep it up.
    – Bret from Amicalola Falls

  • Will Holland : Apr 10th

    I ate hundreds of Poptarts during my thru-hike. Post-thru hike I have probably only eaten four or five.

    Keep going!

    -Wobegon (NOBO 2011)

  • ATGracie : Apr 10th

    I have great admiration for you! You go girl! You’ve got this!!!

  • Victoria : Apr 10th

    Fantastic! I had many similar experiences on my thru last year. You’re doing great! And, I didn’t get a trail name until the Smokies. You have plenty of time!

    Little Red (AT 2015, currently hiking the CDT)

  • Lee : Apr 10th

    I like gash for a trail name and when we meet at trail days I will introduce myself. Until then, Camo

  • Ak Aaron : Apr 10th

    Molley sounds awesome all of it , the good and the bad, keep on trucking and keep that smile on your face !

  • Char O : Apr 11th

    Best wishes as you keep moving forward in your journey. My son and his friend – South Wind & Owl must be just ahead of you, hope they run into you.

  • Scott : Apr 11th

    May your days be dry,
    your nights cool.
    Ankles strong, and
    Knees true,
    Walk on, walk on.

  • Forrest Stone : Apr 12th

    If you get shafted too many times at the shelters, you could go with Sad sack for a trial name. Or snap pictures to shame those being jerks. But you took the high road instead of throwing sunflower seeds around the shelter to help the people keep warm..lol. you could choose half full since you’re being so positive about it all wish you the best. I’m going to hike SOBO in 2017. Look forward to your stories.


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