Thursday, September 10, 2009
Day 13 - Morelia
It wasn't 40 miles, itt was 60 miles into Morelia, but the first 40 were some of the most beautiful miles I've ridden so far. I was dreading the climb - 2.000 feet over nearly 20 miles peaking out at 9,400 - but either I'm getting used to climbing or yesterday's short day allowed my legs to rest. Or maybe it was the Michael Scott pre-run special (The Office fans know what I'm talking about) that I ate for breakfast. Whatever the case, it wasn't so bad. I rode in fog much of the way, so I couldn't see the "thousand peaks" (Mil Cumbres) for which the highway is named. This was the first highway connecting Mexico City, Toluca, Morelia and Guadalajara constructed in the early 1900s. It was gorgeous even if I didn't get to see all the vistas along the way for the fog.
About 25 miles along the road we stopped and filled up our five-gallon water jugs at the local watering hole. It was spring water flowing down the rock wall along the side of the road. A number of people were doing the same. Perfect timing because we were about out of water. God provides.
Upon entering Morelia, we received an escort into the city center. Pastor Jacob Sotelo of Zihuatanejo, who is originally from Morelia, was able to join us and led the way into the center of the city to Salem Presbyterian Church. He and I spoke to the youth and adults present about the refuge for abandoned adults and the trip so far.
Now I'm at his sister Miriam's house ready to crash. Tomorrow I'm headed toward Querétero. The planned stop is Acámbaro, but I've been encouraged to take a more direct route. If I get to Querétero tomorrow, I'll be able to rest all day Saturday before all the long-distance rides begin. This week's theme was climbing, next week's will be distance.
It's hard to imagine I'll have a more beautiful ride in the whole rest of the trip. What a wonderful day!