Day 13: Hanksville (it’s a tiny tiny town)

The temperature dropped last night, and wind poured down canyon. My thermometer read a wee bit over 32 this morning, and it was cold in the canyon bottom as I walked along the road, between red cliffs and next to frozen over puddles from the canyon spring. It was fast though, and by 10:45 I had covered 12 miles and made it to Highway 95. I dropped my pack, stretched my calves, and settled in to wait for a hitch. After only 10 minutes, a car passed and the came back around to get me, and fifteen minutes later I was in Hanksville. 

The town has a couple motels, a couple restaurants, a few gas stations, and a grocery store. It sounds like a lot when I write it here as a list, but looking around town, it really doesn’t look like much. But, I had only a few things I had pretty singular focus on: laundry, shower, and calling Dan. Two out of three ain’t bad: the Hanksville Inn, a little cinder block place best to have low expectations for (I once heard it described as “would not be acceptable to my mother” by a previous hiker), is run by a very sweet guy who let us use his motel washing machine to do our laundry. I took a shower and spent over an hour raking tangles and bark and sticks out of my hair. I even got a meal at the restaurant, a big burger and a tiny salad (a ratio only appropriate for hikers–the rest of you, eat your salad). I am very sad to say that Verizon doesn’t carry this town, so I have no cell service, and there are no pay phones in town. I haven’t yet managed to find a way to call my Dan, my husband, but in a very real sense that is the only important thing to do when I’m in town. A project for tomorrow then, to make it happen. 

Tomorrow I’m taking a rest day here in the hamlet of Hanksville. I feel ready for some sitting time, and there are piles of small tasks that sort of dam up behind the main project of hiking, tasks that are therefore accomplished on rest days. I’ll repair some broken items, update some maps, repackage food, and tweak around the blog. Tomorrow is supposed to have high winds, gusting as much as 40 mph, so I’m quite thankful to be in town and not climbing over Mt Ellen. 

erosion in Poison Spring Canyon

masonry-protected spring


hair before the shower



6 thoughts on “Day 13: Hanksville (it’s a tiny tiny town)

  1. Orli

    Hi Katherine,

    I’m reading every entry and loving hearing about your adventures! Thinking of you and cheering you on from the sidelines… Wishing you much luck and safe travels in the days ahead!



  2. Kent Butler

    We’re glad we were passing by and were able to give you a ride into Hanksville. Verizon should work in Hanksville. Sprint does and it uses the same type of technology as Verizon.


  3. Daya Goldschlag

    My Dearest Katherine: reading hungrily, happily, respectfully your well written, full of interesting detail posts with their beauteous photos. You are carried in my heart and mind. Having recently been in Zion, it seems like i can see into the depths, the feel of your landscapes thru the photos and my recent memory. It is amazing territory and you are very intimately immersed in it in a way few do. It seems more difficult and dangerous than even your other long hikes. I wish you safe going along with all the incredible, bizarre beauty. Ted and i hiked to Weeping Rock, we leaned into it whispering to it, telling the rock you were coming in a few months time, to welcome you. It is waiting for you at the end of this amazing journey. All is well here. An early spring. Some rain but not enough snow. Ted is spraying peach leaves in the arbor, I am headed out to dig up and feed vegetable beds and plant some early greens. We love you very much and send hugs to ease your muscles, Daya


  4. Gary and Patti

    Hi Katherine, I was hiking Grand Gulch while you were in Dark Canyon, only 20-25 miles away as the crow flies. Patti and I hiked Dark Canyon about 10 years ago. I’m enjoying your posts and thinking I may want to get your GPX file in the not too distant future. Thanks for doing the tracking! Good luck with the rest of it… 11,000`in early April could be interesting.


  5. Gromit

    Great stuff. Love the way you describe the scenery, gives it color, texture and life. Little bits of humor add sparkle as well. Hope you got your hair untangled/deforested, and the down sewn back into your jacket. The next one up thru that chimney will marvel and wonder at the evidence that somehow European geese had nested in there.


  6. Lisa Lightner

    Just finished all the posts. I marvel at it all from my tiny screen and recall now that landscape I managed to hike for only a day 20 years ago. So many delights in how you describe your experience –“art as experience” — as you wrote at the beginning. Offered up in your reflections with such cheer and courageous curiosity. I’m hooked now and waiting for your next postings. May serendipity continue to make her appearances in your trek.




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