Day 8 - Stayed in Flagstaff – Saturday, April 23rd

Early in the morning, we phoned our son Laron, who works at Grand Canyon National park. It turned out that he was interested in visiting with us on our trip. Since we also needed to make some adjustments on my bicycle that could only be done at a bicycle shop, and where Malcolm needed to get a minor adjustment at an orthodontist, we decided to stay the day in Flagstaff.

Laron told us where to meet him (coming in on the Grand Canyon Shuttle), and we phoned the bicycle shop to see if we could get my bicycle fixed.

Though the motel we stayed at was inexpensive and nice, it was far away from the bicycle shop and from where Laron would meet us & show us around the town. So we checked-out of the motel, and cycled about four miles farther to the west, again fighting a strong, cold headwind. With that wind, it was hard cycling just going those few miles.

We first stopped at the bicycle shop “Absolute Bikes”, showing them how the crankset on my bicycle was having a little bit of 'rocking' motion as I pedaled. They very kindly fit us in right away, despite their busy schedule, and soon made the adjustment, which fixed the problem.

I had been noticing a slight noise in the rear wheel's bearing, and we thought about having them look at it, but it would only happen with the bicycle fully loaded (and me on it, pedaling). Given their busy schedule, and how hard it was to demonstrate, we didn't ask them about it, though it was indeed a harbinger of troubles yet to come.

Since the priority was fixing the bicycle, we hadn't eaten, so I ate some trail-mix while they were working on the bicycle. We also delayed eating because the next priority was getting a room at the Hostel Laron had recommended.

We quickly found the Grand Canyon Hostel. However, the only private rooms they had left were not on the ground floor. However, they sent us over to the Dubeau Hostel (which they also run, about a block away), and there was a ground-level private room there.

They also changed Laron's reservation to be two rooms down from where we stayed. He had signed up for a dorm-room (which was what he normally does), so his cost was only 20 dollars. Our private room was 57 dollars (for the two of us), which is even more than the motel at the outskirts of town, but it was here in the historic downtown district where we would be sight-seeing.

The hostel is an interesting concept of a place to stay. There were shared laundry and kitchen facilities (you wash what you use). If you stay in a dorm room, it will really save you money. There is no TV in the room, but we don't use the TV, and even though it was in all of the other motels we stayed at, we never once turned on any of the TV's, so not having a TV was no problem.

Laron says he prefers dorm rooms, since it is cheaper, and you meet a lot of interesting people that way. As we were signing up for the room, Laron arrived from the bus station, and after putting the bicycles in the room (no small feat, given the small size of the room), we walked down the sidewalk together, looking for a good place to eat. We eventually chose the Dara Thai Restaurant.

After eating, we walked around town with Laron. He was looking for a couple of stores he need to visit. In the process of doing this, we saw the highway I had been planning to cycle to get to the Lake Mary Road. It had a lot of traffic, and there were no shoulders at all, as well as busy interchanges.

Seeing this, I studied the bicycle map of Flagstaff the bike shop had given us, and found a lot safer route for getting to the Lake Mary Road.

We did laundry that afternoon, and ate dinner with Laron at a restaurant he recommended. It was a good day, a welcome rest, and a good visit with Laron.

The DuBeau Hostel, where we stayed

Malcolm with Laron (picture taken the next morning before we left)

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