I pulled up to a turn off and immediately noticed a sign about PG&E. I followed the road a bit further and almost thought I'd gone the wrong way. There's not much left in Hinkley today. Not surprisingly, it seems like most people left after the settlement from PG&E. I stopped to grab a picture of the Hinkley sign above what I thought was an abandoned store, and was then greeted by Bill, a man wearing a makeshift button stating that he was the mayor.
Whether he was the mayor or not, Bill was pretty friendly and seemed like he was still enjoying himself from the night before. He was interested about the pictures I was taking so I told him about my road trip around the desert. In return he told me about the town, insisted a few more times that he really was the mayor, and our brief interaction ended with me requesting to snap a few pictures of him. Were it not for the encounter I wouldn't have had much to share about this nearly abandoned community. Bill made my detour to Hinkley memorable.