Odyssey of the 8th Fire is the true tale
of an epic pilgrimage for the Earth
across North America

by people of all colors and faiths.

  - A creative non-fiction book in online evolution - ◊
© - 2007 by Steven McFadden

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"A traveler without observation is a bird without wings."

- Moslih Eddin Saadi.

Day 132 - Wednesday, November 1, 1995 - Joe Soto came growling out of his tent at 6 AM, and started singing a morning chant, basso profundo, to rally us for another day on the road. In our makeshift camp in the YMCA parking lot, we stirred reluctantly. We had no way to cook or to make coffee.

Sissor-tailed Fly Catcher - Oklahoma state bird, famous for its marvelous zig-zag sky dance above the prairies.

About a half hour later a man and his wife came out of their home across the street from our camp in the YMCA lot, and called us over to their home.

Though they were exceedingly poor, they brought out every scrap of food they had in the house to feed the walkers breakfast, including their last three eggs, a loaf of bread, and the final half of a can of Maxwell House coffee. Though both the man and the woman were of Native American heritgage, they had no interest in hearing about all the ancient prophecies or grand reasons for our long pilgrimage.

"We can see that you are traveling, and that you are cold and hungry," the man said. "That's all we need to know. In the way we were taught as children, we should be honored to offer you hospitality as you make your way in the world. And we are."

With a smattering of eggs, toast and coffee in our bellies, we set out on the road again, walking toward the Kiowa Reservation in Carnegie. It was a great day for walking, with sun, cool breezes, and light traffic on county roads. A great, fat eagle followed along behind us for one part of the day, hopping from tree to tree keeping an eye on us, perhaps trying to figure out who we are and what we are doing


Serge Lauzon in our Sunbow camp.
Author photo, 1995.

On this day three travelers from Canada joined the walk: Serge Lauzon, Yvette Michel, Yvette's son, Stanley, age 10.

They arrived having driven all the way from Canada in their van, just trusting that they would find us somewhere out on the road. They did.

Yvette and Serge brought with them a bush tent, which can be set up with a small wood stove In it they can withstand the harshest of winter weather, even in the Canadian bush. They are seasoned campers, and determind to travel with us all the way west.

Yvette is a member of the Innu Nation from Nitassinan, situated in eastern Quebec, Canada north of the Gaspe' Peninsula. She is an attorney working on behalf of her people to protect the land from wholesale industrial exploitation. Yvette speaks two languages, French and Montagnais Innu, an Algonkian dialect. But she has not studied the English language.


Tom and I walked along side by side today, just the two of us, for about ten miles. We stayed maybe a hundred yards behind the main body of walkers, and we had time to talk. We got along well together, enjoying each other's company as we made step after step, not letting our conversation veer into any danger zones as we concentrated on the larger purpose of our journey and our prayers.

Tom re-affirmed his determination to walk and to lead the whole of the Sunbow 5 walk to the Western Gate. "We are going to make it," he told me. "This walk is too important to let anything stop it."

We crossss the plains walking under a November sky in constant motion


Our walk was beautifully received in Carnegie, Oklahoma by the elders and tribal administrators of the Kiowa Nation. They had read about our walk on the front page of The Daily Oklahoman newspaper on Monday. They figured we would come by their reservation sooner or later, and they told us they were happy that we did.

The Kiowa wanted to hear the story of our walk, and to understand fully what we are doing. They pledged support to us. At their invitation we pitched our tents in a big circle on the lawn in front of their tribal administration building.

Among the Kiowa elders we met a man named Iron. His face  was strong, steady, determined. Iron took a good long open look at each and every one of us, checking our faces and our eyes. You could see he was trying to get to the core of it, to see who we really are.


Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden

Read Day 133 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire

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Odyssey of the 8th Fire Copyright © 2006-2008 by Steven McFadden