Often it feels like a never-ending grind to get up each morning and ride, trying to make a little more progress in the goal of completing the trail, with every day presently new challenges--and if nothing else then some long, seat-numbing hours in the saddle until I can finally fall exhausted into my tent at the end of it, most of the time well after dark and with only a short time to sleep before I do it all over again. Definitely not a very exciting life we lead out here on the PCT! But there are certainly some days that stand out and offer a brief respite and encouraging rewards, and getting to see some of the amazing variety of wildlife along the way has been one of those special benefits. In this case, I came across a couple of female elk grazing nonchalantly by the side of the road as I was driving back to Keene's horse camp near Mt. Adams, in order to begin what I knew was going to be a difficult few days on the trail.