It was a lovely, sunny morning in the meadow where we camped the night before; there was even a cabin/shelter at the campsite, but I still chose to sleep in my tent (sometimes those old structures are pretty infested with mice!). This day's ride was a beautiful 21 miles to the trailhead in Pine. We dropped quickly off of a mesa and then rode along its base for several miles.
I even quite literally stumbled upon a newborn elk calf! It was lying just on the side of the trail at the end of a switchback. It was very small (only about 30 lbs.) and had spots like a fawn, which I didn't even know was the case with elk. When I came around the corner I scared it and it jumped off the trail and right into a thick shrub. It was then stuck and suspended off the ground and started crying for its mom. Thankfully she wasn't within earshot, or she might not have been happy that I was there, even though I was trying to help her calf. I quickly picked up the calf and laid it down again just off of the trail so its mom would find it. Once I laid it down it immediately went into self-protective "freeze" mode and pretended to be a log, so I quickly left. That was a pretty exciting and interesting adventure for our day on the trail.