"Welcome to Hanksville" Hanksville by goodfish
Hanksville Travel Guide: 20 reviews and 67 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 that 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 some pretty decent reviews on Trip Advisor. And while reports on the 2-3 restaurants weren't exactly glowing, they didn't appear to have killed anyone. Yet. No place for a beer either 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 accommodations 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-dokey. We dive into the cooler, pop a couple of brews and spend the next 1/2 hour watching the highway. We swig. I sweat some more. But promptly at 3:00 there is a sign of LIFE: a car pulls in; the office is unlocked; we cautiously enter and are met by a pleasant young lady who checks us in. We just as cautiously open the door to the room to find it clean, comfortable and better-equipped than I'd 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 and RVs and everyone is outside pulling libations out of their own coolers and communing with the fading sunshine. We are quickly adopted by a rowdy, happy tribe on their way to a week of houseboating in Page, and after a few brews and a pretty-good sammie at the Burger Shack (in the service station next door) I quit 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 a nice 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 every day 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 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 special
'Shopping' and 'Hanksville' are two words that cannot be used in the same sentence. That said, hikers and campers can... more travel advice
For a post-hike brew, this is as close to one of those as you're going to get for 50 miles or so. 3.2 beer is available... more travel advice
goodfish's Related Pages
Hanksville Travel Guide
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- "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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- Warnings and Dangers in Hanksville
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