Stealth Camping among the Wildflowers

Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
Trip End May 10, 2011

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Stealth camped at Milepost 76 on 14D

Flag of Mexico  , Michoacán,
Sunday, October 24, 2010

Starting Alt 1676 m to 2050 m at MP 76, Trip alt 684 m - 35 km distance

Another beautiful day. Our "warmshower" host, Jorge, who lives on the north end of Patzcuaro lake, had replied that he was happy to host us. We called him and told him about our plan to stop one night in Zirahuen on the lake with the same name. He said "Oh, then you'll have a short day". Later we realized that he must be a lot faster than us or talking about riding unloaded bikes.

After working our way through the heavy city traffic, we found our way to the toll road #14D, where we started a bittersweet 276 meter descent to 1300 meter altitude. For 5 km we raced down the mountain with abandon.We enjoyed it while it lasted. Traffic on this 2 lane toll road was a lot heavier than we experienced before on toll roads. Trucks, buses and passenger cars. And our nice wide shoulder is often used as a slow lane for slower traffic. Going around the bends, we just hoped they would see us in time. After that glorious down hill run, we started what turned out to be a relentless continuous 20 km climb to 1950m. Pine forests, avocado orchards,corn fields and lentils grew on mountainsides in the distance. We took a long break at a rest stop near a toll plaza. Women and children set up small tables and sold cold drinks, snacks and fruit. A group of cyclists came by. They were on a morning ride from Uruapan to Zirahuen and back. Great exercise. We were not the only cyclists on the toll road where bicycles are forbidden. As we rode past the toll office, Michelle waved and the guys in the office waved back. They did not hassle us about riding on the toll road.

Refreshed we continued up & up. But soon our stamina was gone and walking and pushing our bikes became more frequent. With at least five miles to go, we came across Cabaņas (cabins) at an avocado orchard. It had showers and informational signs so we thought we could stay. A big Saint Bernard/mix greeted us but no people showed up. The gate was locked and we could not get in. We decided to wild camp shortly up the road. We found a great spot hidden by wildflowers and brush. We cooked up stroganoff from our dehydrated camp food supply. The gooey mess hit the spot....
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