Day 13: NearO to Hanksville

Wednesday May 3, 3.0mi/4.8km

Upper Poison Spring Canyon (187.5/4680ft) to Hanksville / Highway 95 (190.5/4880ft) (UT)

I was awake before 7am, and with just 3 miles to the road, I was done hiking by 8:30am. Poison Spring canyon became smaller as I hiked upstream toward its starting point.

Once I arrived at highway 95, I started hitching to Hanksville. The small town is 18 miles north of the trail crossing, and even though this highway is a regional thoroughfare, it gets little traffic.

While I waited for a car to come by, I had a nice view of the upcoming Henry mountains.

A few cars came by, and kept driving. After 30 minutes of waiting (and only 7 cars), a very nice couple from Durango stopped and picked me up. We had a really fun conversation all the way to Hanksville, and they let me take their photo, which they insisted be “a wacky one”, haha!

I said goodbye, and I went inside to get food at Stan’s burger Shak. The bison burger and chocolate shake were excellent.

I finished my meal and was sitting there charging my phone and searching for places to stay (the Hanksville Inn is permanently closed, and the only remaining hotel Whispering Sands is expensive), when another Hayduke hiker walked over and said hi! Shadow is originally from the Netherlands and lives in California, and he has hiked tons of trails, including an attempt at a calendar year triple crown. I was excited about having another hiker to talk to, and I forgot to take any photos the rest of the day.

We talked about trails and hiking for awhile, including the ridiculous experience that the Hayduke has been thus far. He solved my question of where to stay in Hanksville, giving me the phone number of a guy who has an AirBNB here called “Granny’s Nook”, and at only $125 a night it’s by far the cheapest in town.

We walked to the post office together, I picked up my two packages (maps and microspikes), and his package (new backpack) still hadn’t arrived yet, so he chose to stay another night in town and join me at the AirBNB. Cool, company!

I hit up the tiny grocery store, which was able to get me about 75% of my usual resupply…I’ll have to supplement with a visit to the convenience store tomorrow morning. We spent the afternoon at the Airbnb talking, relaxing, and avoiding the sudden dust storm outside. I had one of the best showers I’ve had in a few years, and then spent a couple hours washing sand out of all my stuff – tent, backpacking, etc.

We made a nice simple pasta dinner, and I stayed up way too late, since I had access to lighting after 8:30pm, ha!

Tomorrow, I have a couple town chores, and then hopefully a quick hitch back to the trail!

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