"Welcome to Hanksville" Hanksville by goodfish
Hanksville Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 72 photos
"You're staying in HANKSVILLE? No one stays in Hanksville. It's the middle of NOWHERE. I didn't know there WAS a place to stay in Hanksville. Seriously, you aren't really staying in HANKSVILLE???"
We'd stopped into the Information Center in Moab to ask about a road into Horseshoe Canyon which was rumored to be closed. The man at the desk said he sure as hell wouldn't drive all the way out there to find out. Well, no, but see we're going to be staying in Hanksville for a couple of days...
The Husband looks at me. I start to sweat. Research and bookings for the 2011 Utah trip had pretty much been in my (now clammy) little hands, and three hikes that were a real haul to try and do from Moab had me reserving a room in, well, THAT middle of nowhere. But the motel had decent reviews on Trip Advisor. And while reports on the 2-3 local restaurants weren't exactly glowing, they didn't appear to have killed anyone. Yet. No place for a beer but that's why God made coolers, right? How bad can it be?
We pulled into town - or past a sign that said "Welcome to Hanksville" anyway - and got our first eyeful of the place we'd be spending the next three nights. It was, er, interesting. OK, it was the FAR side of interesting. We cruise past a couple derelict gas stations, rusty heaps of equipment, abandoned motels and disintegrating shacks. It appears to be totally deserted: not a living soul in sight. The Husband looks at me. I start to sweat again.
We find our accommodation, and I'm marginally relieved to see that it doesn't look like the Bates Motel but it, too, is deserted. Sign on the office door says it opens at 3:00. Okey-doke. We dive into the cooler, pop a couple of brews, and spend the next 1/2 hour watching the highway. We swig. I sweat a little more. But promptly at 3:00, there is a sign of LIFE: a car pulls in; the office is unlocked; we are met by a pleasant young lady who checks us in. A tentative first peek at our room finds it clean, comfortable and better-equipped than expected. An hour later, another cheerful employee kicks the living crap out of a stubborn wash machine in the laundry for me, and by late afternoon the parking lot is full of cars, trucks, RVs and merry folk guzzling libations from of their own coolers and communing with the fading sunshine. We are quickly adopted by a rowdy, jocular tribe on their way to a houseboating weekend in Page, and after a few more longnecks and pretty-good sammie at the Burger Shack (in the service station next door), I stop sweating.
Over the next couple of days, the place starts to grow on us. I wander around town playing shutterbug and Pied Piper to a collection of curious pups. People smile and wave on their way to work. We yak it up with friendly locals and motel neighbors. By morning #3 we're on a first-name basis with the guy at the Chevron, and have an invitation to, "C'mon back and stay with me and the wife next time" from Eight-Finger Wayne (he's missing a couple of digits). We learn that the nearest hospital is 100 miles away; that teenagers spend three hours on a bus to get to school; that the folks here are about as nice as they come; that the book has a more captivating story inside than its faded, tattered cover might lead you, at first, to believe.
Oh, and that there absolutely IS one damn fine place to stay in the middle of nowhere. Seriously.
- In a nutshell:One man's nowhere is another man's somewhere
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goodfish's Related Pages
Hanksville Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Welcome to Hanksville"
- "Hanksville - Nowhere in a good way"
- "Hanksville, Utah"
- "hanksville rocks, as in it's cool, and stuff"
- "Out of this World"
- "Adventures In The Dirty Devil Wilderness"
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- Things to Do in Hanksville
- Hotels in Hanksville
- Restaurants in Hanksville
- Shopping in Hanksville
- Warnings and Dangers in Hanksville
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- 16 Reviews
- 65 Photos
- 3 Forum posts
- 13 Comments
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