(NOTE: This is the fifth in a series of posts about a photography trip I took in early November, 2022.)
Our home base for this extended trip was Hanksville, Utah -- population approximately 250. It's pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
In fact, the closest town with a substantial medical facility is Price, UT (not shown on the map above), a two-hour drive north from Hanksville. I'm not sure if Hanksville even has a police station. Don't have a heart attack or serious medical emergency here!
Hanksville is located just north of the Henry Mountains (no relation: Henry . . . Hank . . . get it?), which was the last mountain range in the Lower 48 United States to be surveyed and added to U.S. maps (in 1872). They were named for Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
The highest peak in the Henrys is Mt. Ellen (11,527 feet), named after John Wesley Powell's sister who was the wife of topographer A. H. Thompson . . . who was second in command of Powell's Second Geographical Expedition to explore the watersheds and canyons of the Green and Colorado rivers in southern Utah and northern Arizona in 1871-75.
Ten years after Thompson summited and named Mt. Ellen, Hanksville itself was founded in 1882 by Ebenezer Hanks. Back in the day, Hanksville was a supply post for Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch gang when they were operating out of Robbers Roost Canyon southeast of Hanksville.
|By Unknown author - From the studio of John Schwartz., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=331579|
Butch Cassidy is front row on the right; Sundance Kid is front row on the left.
Today, the Hanksville economy is driven primarily by farming along the Fremont River and tourism, as it is the northern access to Lake Powell (80 miles away and, yes, named for John Wesley Powell) and close to Capitol Reef National Park, Goblin Valley State Park, Factory Butte, the San Rafael Swell, and other geological features for hikers, climbers, and photographers.
Hanksville has two gas stations, but no "service" stations. Here's the more unique one, with the cashier, restrooms, and convenience store located inside a small mountain:
|Who knew Sinclair was still a fuel brand?|
Thanks to the nail that punctured and flattened my left rear tire while we were there, we learned that all automotive service, off-road rescue, and towing in the area was handled by Dave, owner of Rabbitbrush Repair & Storage.
Being city fellers, we took special note of the sign in his workshop:
Hanksville has a couple of restaurants, including Stan's Burger Shak, where you can also get . . .
(The burgers weren't that great, and don't order a milkshake.)
Hanksville boasts an impressive array of fine hotels right on the beach . . .
But we chose to stay in an Airbnb . . .
That one was a little too air-y, so we asked for an upgrade . . .
Just kidding! Here's the house where we actually stayed:
There's one place in Hanksville that deserves a full post of its own: Carl's Critter Garden. Photos from that venue will be my next post.
Finally, in case you were wondering whatever happened to Mr. Whipple after he retired from squeezin' the Charmin, we now know. He lives in Hanksville; his first name is Curtis; and he's running for School Board!
If you would like to see these images (and more) in a larger format, please visit my photography website, Todos Juntos Photography, by clicking here.