Expedition Team: Dave Miller
Date: January 1997
I was in Morelos, Mexico on a joint Moraine Rotary/ Morelos Mexico Rotary Club cervical cancer detection center project. Mexican Rotarians from nearby Tepoztlan invited me to climb the nearest mountain trail which would overlook the city, valley and far beyond. Tepoztlan, located 46 miles south of Mexico City, is the reputed birthplace of Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec feathered serpent God. We drove into Tepoztlan, hiked the cobblestone street past merchants and street vendors selling food, crafts and hollowed-out gourds. At the trail head (Photo#1) we began ascending the stone trail (Photo#5) climbed by the ancient Aztecs centuries before. The hike was a good workout as the trailhead begins at almost 6000 feet above sea level. I was in shape but the altitude made me breath heavy. Photo 2 shows the city below as we hiked up 2,000 feet (a 2.1 mile trail) to the mountain top where the ruins of El Tepozteco Pyramid (Photo#4) stood, a Temple honoring the Aztec God. The pyramid was built in 1470. Photo #3 shows the view of the city below from the ruins. We hiked a quarter mile north and west of the ruins overlooking the canyon where one Rotarian named Carlo lived and away from city lights. Afterwards, we rested at a local bar drinking the town’s favorite – a michelada – beer with various kinds of sweet and sour goo around the rim. I preferred just salt and lime around the rim.