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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audio recording of
Odyssey of the 8th Fire,
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 "My address is like my shoes. It travels with me. I abide where there is a fight against wrong."

- Mother Jones

Day 194 - Tuesday,  January 2, 1996 – We struck camp in Aquila. After packing up all our gear, the tents, and the big blue cook wagon, we put a team of walkers on the road, and then caravanned along Route 72 to the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) Reservation in Parker, Arizona.

The reservation spans the Colorado River and has land on both sides, Arizona and California. It's home to about 3,300 human beings from the Chemehuevi, Mohave, Hopi and Navajo tribes. The reservation community is an amalgamate of human beings, a lot like our walk. The river-bottom lands that are part of the CRIT reservation are fertile. Wth the river water they yield a bounty of cotton, alfalfa, wheat, lettuce, and melons.

Sunbow cook wagon - Barbie Nicholson tends to food preparation beside the horse trailer, donated by Karen Fletcher, that was the Sunbow rolling kitchen. (Author photo).


When our caravan arrived at the CRIT reservation, we learned that the elders council was scheduled to meet within a half hour. They just happen to meet regularly on the first Tuesday of each month, and we just happened to have arrived on the first Tuesday of the month, just minutes before their meeting got underway.

The Mojave elders heard our story, talked for a few minutes, then formally welcomed our Sunbow walk to their land. They invited us to camp on their baseball field, and to use the hot showers in the locker room. Assistant tribal chairman Russell Dillman told us we are welcome to stay as long as we like.

In the meeting he also mentioned the issue of the Ward Valley nuclear dump, just to the north of this place. He encouraged us to look into it.

He told us that the local tribes are protesting the plan to dump nuclear waste in Ward Valley, because the waste may pollute the Colorado River for thousands of years. The river has always been the lifeline for the human beings in this desert region, he said, and it must be respected.

Russell told us that this coming Saturday, January 6, there's going to be a spiritual gathering right here on the reservation. People all up and down the river will be coming. He asked us to consider the situation of Ward Valley, and to think also about being part of their gathering on Saturday.

Upstream to the north - Long before the much-coveted waters of the Colorado River arrive at Parker, Arizona, they pass to the north through the Grand Canyon. Photo by Rickvg courtesy of flckr.com


After the formal part of the elders' meeting, a Mojave grandmother named Ione sat and talked with Joe, Inecke, and me.

Ione told us that she had a personal spiritual awakening a number of years ago when the Peace & Dignity Run came through Parker on their way to Mexico. That epic native run took place three years ago, in 1992. Runners began in Alaska, and came on south toward Mexico, timing their run to arrive in Teotihuacán on October 12, 1992—the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

The Peace & Dignity runners carried a bundle of 44 prayer staffs with eagle feathers, running to help fulfill the prophecy of the eagle and the condor.

Ione said she had been deeply touched by the spirit the runners carried with them, and that she was glad that our walk had come just now. "I have to do something for those coming behind me before I go into the next world,” she said. My heart is with you and your prayer walk. You are here at the right time."

Our Staffs - Silverio Jimenez, left, and Joe Soto, carry two of the Sunbow eagle staffs at the head of the walk through the Arizona desert. (Author photo).


Copyright 2007 by Steven McFadden

Read Day 195 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire

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