September in Moab is madness. complete & utter chaos.
hotels are packed. grocery shelves are empty.
seasonal employees are gone.
but ... we're as busy as normal 'season.'
we're basically those headless chickens everyone talks about.
It's frustrating as a local, to put it lightly.
luckily, we can drive a couple hours in any direction from Moab and be in a whole new world. Or at least a whole new state; Colorado, New Mexico & Arizona are all a short drive from home.
Hovenweep, Lowry Ruins, Mesa Verde & countless other adventures in history are just a short drive away; making Cortez a gateway to awesome & the perfect place to stay the night, rise early and explore among the ancients.
^ our hotel the first weekend was the adorable Retro Inn
life size checkers * little outdoor eating areas
cute trailer outside complete with Elvis statue
we got the 'top gun' room (hence the tom cruise 👍 photo)
it's also conveniently Walmart & Denny's adjacent 😆
we checked into the cute little hotel, had a quick dinner (not Denny's😅) and then I managed to convince Gary to chase sunset at the last minute out to Lowry Ruins ..
the next morning we woke with the sun & headed out to Sand Canyon @Canyon of the Ancients national monument; a gorgeous 30 minute drive from Cortez. while the 'parking lot' may just be a sandstone slab with a big sign & easy to miss for some; the trail head is obvious and all very well-marked. within a few minutes of walking; you will see the first few sets of ruins below.
this hike and it's views are definitely not done any justice by my iphone photography. This place was unbelievable around every turn.
we could have spent all day here; if it wasn't still 93 degrees in September.
ruins around so many corners
there were even double decker ruins .. dibs on the upstairs!!
ruins for miles; views for days; pottery shards galore.
unbelievable place that we will be back to visit; to finish those last 3 miles.