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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Odyssey of the 8th Fire,
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"If we don't change our direction,
we're likely to end up where we're headed."

- Ruben Snake

Day 142 - Saturday, November 11, 1995 - We woke up in Bushland, Texas to witness a delicate, frigid sunrise, which came across the prairie and behind the silhouette of Amarillo, now 15 miles distant to our east. An inch of fresh snow caused the prairie to glow exquisitely with the light of the rising sun.

After a prayer circle to welcome the day, we fortified ourselves with porridge, stewed plums, organic squash, and fry bread.


While most of the walkers set out on the road to cover some miles on this steadily warming day, Joe and I headed to an Army surplus store in Amarillo. We purchased 13 sleeping pads, 20 wool hats, and a 17' X 17' Army arctic tent with liner.

Our hosts in Bushland—May Emeny and Hunter Ingalles—donated a small wood stove, to complete our preparations for the cold. We practiced setting up our new tent in their yard, so that we'd know what to do as we pushed further west into sparsely populated areas.


Grandfather Commanda near his home on Bitobi Lake in Maniwaki, Quebec. Author Photo.

Today is Grandfather Commanda's birthday. We called him at his home in Canada to wish him well, and to serenade him. He mentioned that he was not having a cake today, so we made a note to get him a cake so we could together celebrate his birthday in high style the next time we see him.

Grandfather asked us to pray about about forgiveness and reconcilliation, so that we could soon come together again as one band of pilgrims. He said he would meet us in Albuquerque, New Mexico in a couple of weeks at Thanksgiving, and that he wanted us all—including Tom—to meet in one circle, and to try and move beyond the issues that have divided us.


The walkers out on the pathway west traveled along the service road that runs parallel to I-40. They started just to the west of Amarillo, and early on they walked by an array of 10 Cadillacs partly buried in the prairie, nose down.

Cadillac Ranch - An art installation along the side of I-40 just west of Amarillo, Texas. Author photo, 1995.

This site, we learned, is an art installation known as Cadillac Ranch. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez. and Doug Michels, all members of an art collective known as Ant Farm.

All the cars are buried at an angle corresponding to the angle of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. The junker caddys were were covered with graffiti; hordes of beer cans and other trash littered the site.

Apparently they intended Cadillac Ranch as a statement about American fascinations with and roadside attractions, and the mobility and freedom of the automobile.


Firewood is beoming hard to find. This is likely our lot the rest of the way. We are going to be crossing the desert, and there are few trees.


Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden

Read Day 143 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire

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