. A bed in the dormitory runs $9; I check it out and sign in for the evening, swinging back to the hotel to grab my gear, and the bike does fine fully loaded. After hanging out on my bed for a bit, resting and rehydrating some after the afternoon in the desert, I meet my roommates. Tom(1) has just finished the AT northbound about a month prior, is from Arizona, maybe a little younger than me, and is just traveling around some before figuring out how to settle down for the fall. Tom(2) is an prior felon convicted of aggravated assault (super-nice dude though; a couple kids, engaged, totally congenial), and makes his living mostly by going to pool tournaments and taking 2nd place. We form an interesting trio, and head out to a bar for dinner together. Tom(2) has some excellent stories, and both Tom(1) and I get schooled multiple times in pool, but during one game I had only two balls left on the table as he sunk the 8, and he taught me a bit about side-english. Interestingly, in Utah, you must be a member of most bars (some Mormon thing about them being private clubs) in order to order a drink, and Tom(1) grabs a $4 membership on which Tom(2) and I are his guests, and he is fortunately discounted the same amount on his food bill. Adri, I hope you're reading this. Anyway, Tom(1) and I head back to the hostel after Tom(2) thanks us for helping him warm up for the night's tournament, and we call it an evening, chatting while I pack up gear for an early morning, bound for Jackson.
Up early in the morning to coordinate internet research with dad. No real street bike shops in Moab, but leaving my gear behind the front desk of the hotel, found a guy (on the way noticing a sign for a hostel with rooms starting at $9 - also on the way my headlight circuit blows it's fuse - argh.. a replacement quickly also burns out.. a project for later while I sort out the brakes) who was the closest thing and swore up and down that my front brake was perfectly aligned and adjusted and that the smell (not present anymore) must have been something else. Look for things melting on the pipes, signs of burnt plastic anywhere on the front half of the bike, and find nothing. In retrospect.. ahh yes. Decide to test the guy's assessment by taking a daypack and riding through a good bit of Arches NP just north of Moab. Pulled off at a trailhead and hiked up to Delicate Arch (crazy cool), and headed back into town with no smell from the bike and all as normal. Hmm. Poke around at the library for a bit and then go scope out the hostel