There’s not a huge amount of people to thank this week, but the people we are thanking made a huge impact on our trip. (Yes, even Mitch the bartender!)

When you’re on the road for 20 weeks, constantly thinking about where you’re going to sleep and how you’re going to get there and what you’re going to eat and how many people you’ll meet on the way, it’s nice to take a few days to chill out sometimes. That’s exactly what Rand and Jonathan allowed us to do in Flagstaff, and it was only at the end of Week 12 we actually managed to move on to our next destination…Albuquerque.

Mitch

Mitch is the bartender at the Flagstaff Brewery – and he’s damn good at his job. Day one, we met Rand and Jonathan there and Rand bought us a pint each: a stout for Lilly and an Amber Ale for me. Day two we met up there again with some friends of Rand’s for his birthday, and before we’d said a word our same order was perfectly poured and in front of us. He only charged Rand half price. Day three, perfectly poured again, this time completely free of charge. Legend. Quite the skill to remember two orders in a busy bar without any prompt.

Abel & Brian

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After changing our plans before Flagstaff, on arrival we were itching to get off on a day trip up to the immense Grand Canyon. If all else failed we would hitch, but we decided to post on Craigslist to see if anyone else was already going that way and had room for two more. In stepped Abel, a retiree who liked to go exploring with his little dog Odie. He sent us a picture of Odie and we decided to trust him. Good plan. He arrived the next morning with the pup and his friend Brian who hadn’t seen the Grand Canyon and decided to come with, and off we went. Abel treated us like family the whole day and we had such a great time. When we said goodbye at the end, Abel presented us both with dream catchers he had secretly bought, to keep us safe on the rest of our travels.

Wilmar & Jacob

In order to get to Albuquerque we decided to again turn to Craigslist and organised a ride with Wilmar. Wilmar is a father of 5 who loves travelling, and was driving home from the Grand Canyon with his 8 year old, Jacob. Flagstaff to Albuquerque is a long drive for one person, so he was grateful for the extra drivers and we were grateful to make the whole thing in one go (and one piece – Lilly and I are a lot more accustomed to driving on the left…)

Anna

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Anna was another Couchsurfing host, and even though we turned up an hour later than we said we would (stupid confusing time zones!) she was happy to have us stay for two nights. When we woke in the morning, she’d left a note for us to help ourselves to eggs and the plums picked from her neighbour’s tree, and to pick greens from her own garden. We fried it up with garlic, made toast and had THE best breakfast I’ve ever eaten in my life. Thanks Anna!

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