This was a moment when everything came together—planning, spontaneous response to a lack of planning, hours waiting, hours wandering, long drives, short sleeps, sketchy scrambles, heavy packs, and a willingness to just try something different. Those moments of fruition will always stay with me, but just as often I’ll remember the in-betweens: the song that came on during hour seven of an eleven hour drive, the fifteenth peanut butter tortilla wrap I ate on a 60 mile hike, shivering outside a closed visitor center watching snow fall and hoping the WiFi still works so I can reach out to someone special. Not every memory is glorious, and not every moment is captured on camera, but it’s all real, it’s all a part of the journey, it’s all worth remembering.
Devil’s Elbow is a tiny town tucked into a tight bend in the Big Piney River, just off of historic Route 66. There are several bluffs that overlook the river and bridge, which can be accessed via steep hike or rock climb. The view is well worth it (even though everything is dead right now), and you can grab lunch at the Elbow Inn when you come back down.