"To us, as caretakers of the heart of Mother Earth, falls the responsibility of turning back the powers of destruction.
"You yourself are the one who must decide. You alone - only you - can make this crucial choice, to walk in honor or to dishonor your relatives.
"On your decision depends the fate of the entire world. Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind.”
– Arvol Looking Horse
Day 138 - Tuesday, November 7, 1995 - Reporter Melanie Jeffrey came to our roadside camp in Quail, Texas just after sunrise. She writes for the Wellington Leader, and she posed a series of insightful questions about the larger purpose of our walk.
After just having escaped our troubles in Oklahoma, we were happy to have her questions to ponder. If we are walking for honesty, caring, sharing, respect, and peace, why are we plagued with so many troubles and angry divisions?
When the reporter finished asking her questions, we dropped a patrol of walkers off by the side of the road to cover some miles, mounted up our caravan of vehicles, and headed off west to Claude, Texas, population 1,199. Claude is the county seat for Armstrong County, and only a short drive from Amarillo.
By the end of the day we had arrived at the Claude Hopper Motel, an aged establishment set close by the side of Route 287 out the outskirts of town. Owned by Jack and Linda Spencer, the Claude Hopper Inn & Motel ($19.95 a night, includes taxes). It proved to be an altogether magical and endearing stop for our pilgrimage
Shortly after our horde of 35 pilgrims arrived, Jack called us all together. He said he was giving us four free rooms for as long as we needed them, so we could all get hot showers, and some could have the beds. He invited us to pitch our tents in a big circle in the field behind the motel.
Then he told us his story. Jack said he is a devout Christian man: an Evangelical minister in the Bible Way Pentecostal Church of God.
About a year-and-a-half ago, he said, he was taking a shower when he had an unusual experience. He called it a prophecy vision.
"Through the power of the Holy Spirit," Jack said, "my vision showed me that 'People of God' would come walking by my business in June of 1995, and that I should get my property ready to receive them.
"I heeded the vision. All during the Spring and early Summer I worked on the land here: picking rock, cutting weeds and grass, and inviting friends over from local churches to pray and sanctify the land."
Jack let everyone in town, including all the ministers at the local churches, know about his vision. Then he waited. Nothing happened. No 'People of God' came walking by.
Eventually the summer of 1995 ended, and autumn came. It got to be November, and his motel business was doing poorly. Bills were coming due.
Then yesterday Barbie Nicholson and Jacki Gauger knocked at his door. They told him that our Sunbow walk was coming this way, and that we needed a place to camp. Jack began to weep with joy when he heard Jacki and Barbie tell him about the walk; they cried, too, when Jack told them about his vision.
About an hour later, the main party of pilgrims arrived at the Claude Hopper Inn. We pitched our tents out behind the inn. Jack drove several wakers around town to meet with editors and reporters at Amarillo newspapers and TV stations. He wanted to get word out about the vision he’d had, and the walkers who had appeared to fulfill it.
Three Rivers made a short journey to the IGA grocery store in Claude to stock up on flour, corn meal and beans.
She saw a pile of junk on the side of the road, and had a hunch, so she drove back to camp and told Joe about it. When they got back and sorted the junk out, they found all the necessary parts for a small wood stove that would fit into our recently acquired Army surplus tent.
Next, Joe and Three Rivers met a man with two trailers loaded with wood that he was about to discard. They brought him back to our camp at the Claude Hopper to unload. The wood is just the right size for our new wood stove.
Finally, Joe and Three Rivers noted a tipi next to one of the houses in Claude. They went over and knocked on the door. There they met Donnie, a cook at the local diner, and also part of the large intertribal group in Amarillo.
Donnie promptly offered to give the walk a a second stove—a small pot-belled one that will work just fine if we get another tent. Donnie also said he would contact a Comanche Medicine Man who lives nearby. He said the man might be able to help us on our journey.
Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden
Read Day 138 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire