By Thursday, April 17th, we’d hit most of our highlights and were trying to decide what else we should do on the way back home. Knowing it would be too warm to sit in the canyon with the dogs that day, we packed up and headed to Natural Bridges National Monument. Since we did still have the dogs, we didn’t take any hikes—although the helpful Ranger at the station let us know where our dogs were allowed, but we did drive through the park and pull over at each vista, taking in the Owachomo, Sipapu, and Kachina Bridges.
It seemed a large number of the tourists that day were European. In fact, after getting in our bus at the first overlook, an enthusiastic man—who I assumed was German—stopped us for a quick photo op. Once we’d made the loop, we headed up Deer Flats to find a camping spot. We were surprised at the number of campers, but not too far up, found a pretty large space with lots of shade to allow the dogs to explore.
Right before we were ready to test out our new solar shower, a caravan of three cars pulled into our site. They parked a little ways away and introduced themselves. They let us know there was a trailhead into the canyon from this site. Their plan was to hike it this evening, camp and get out early in the morning. Even though Pakak made friends with the newcomers—who offered her some of their roast chicken—and we were invited to their fire, we turned in after a shower and dinner. It seemed they turned in pretty early as well.