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Big Dipper over the Great Wall
2002

This was photographed by moonlight


It was the night before China's Mid-Autumn Harvest Moon Festival. As the sun set, I saw the almost full moon rising. I decided to stay longer and photograph the twilight scenes.

An Austrian made cable car lift takes tourists up to the top of one of the peaks. This lift shuts down at dusk. I asked a souvenir vendor "How do I walk down?" She replied, "Just look for number 16 Wind and Fire Tower and there is a paved walkway down the mountain."

After the sun set, it was quite dark and due to the 2700 year old carvings of the Great Wall, I couldn't read the numerals! Neither could I find the path through the trees and bushes. I was mentally preparing myself to spend a long, lonely, chilly night on top of the Great Wall.

After seraching for almost an hour, I remembered purchasing a small cell phone two days earlier and luckily I had asked a guide "What is the emergency number?" 110. I punched that in and a woman answered, "Tien An Men police station." I said "I'm stuck on the Great Wall." She calmly said, "Don't worry, we'll send someone up to fetch you."

About two hours later, I heard people yelling from the valley. My cell phone rang, "I'm the local police officer and we're coming to get you." He and a local merchant hiked up to rescue not only this dumb American tourist, but also another young couple who were stuck on a nearby peak. I asked, "That was a way for them to get some privacy, right?" The merchant smiled and said, "Not according the the young lady!"