"My friend, they will return again,
All over the Earth.
They are returning again,
Ancient teachings of the Earth,
Ancient songs of the Earth.
They are returning again.
My friend, they are returning.
I give them to you, and through them
You will undertand, you will see.
They are returning again
Upon the Earth."
- Crazy Horse
Day 51 - Saturday, August 12, 1995 - A beautiful day for the walkers. Relaxation in the early morning, a minimal walk of about a dozen miles, then the fellowship of an afternoon pow wow at the New River Valley Mall near Christiansburg, Virginia.
The hosts for the walkers, Denise Yopp and Art Hoover, were also the organizers of the pow wow. Charlie Commando, Ned Paschene, and Joe Soto contributed their talents with the drum for the intertribal dancers at the mall.
After the pow wow the evening turned special. Over 200 people came back to Art and Denise's home, where the walk is encamped, to join in a massive potluck supper.
"It was incredible," Jacki reported, "just a wonderful experience. We sat and talked and visited for hours. The feeling of family and love was very strong. Even the neighbors came by and joined the gathering when they saw the crowd. As we talked people were enthusiastic and supportive of the walk. They feel we are doing something that is vitally important for the U.S. and the world, and that it does need to happen now. They see how abused our Earth is, and how sick it is becoming. They know our prayer walk can help."
The walkers are intent on rising early on Sunday and getting right out on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The plan, Tom said, is to walk in small-group relays, in the hope of thrusting 60 miles deep into North Carolina, a place of dogwood trees.
Byron Young intends to complete our
Sunbow 5 walk on his bare feet.
There's not much but wilderness over the next stretch, Tom said, so he feels that it makes sense to travel through the region as quickly as possible. He figures that by breaking the walk up into small groups, and having different groups walk different stretches of the road at the same time, the walkers can cover a great distance in a day.
Our Sunbow advisors, in particular Jose Lucero, have counseled repeatedly that it is important for the walkers to stay together as one group. But Tom feels that is just too slow a pace to be workable.
According to Tom, the walkers are eager to finish the southward orientation of our walk, and turn their feet toward the Western Gate at Point Conception, California, where Hopi Grandfather Thomas Banyacya has said our walk should attain completion. Tom wants our walk to move on more swiftly.
The walkers have become parents of a sort. Denise Yopp's family had a dog named Major in need of a home. Major took a genuine liking to the walkers. It was agreed. Major will head off down the road as the offical Sunbow 5 bowser.
Tom declared that Major should be court martialed and demoted to "Sergeant" on the charge of "excessive friskiness."
Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden
Read Day 52 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire