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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"Crying for a vision...it is the thirst for a dream from abovea vision which, while it lasts, will make you more than just a human being...It is like the prophets in the Christian Bible, like Jesus fasting in the desert, or Jacob wrestling with the angel, wrestling for a dream. It means hearing soundless voices, seeing things with your heart and mind, not with your eyes. It means shutting your eyes in order to see."

- Archie Fire Lame Deer

Day 67 - Monday,  August 28, 1995 - The Sun came out, the temperatures climbed back to a familiar 90 degrees, and the walkers broke up into small groups, and dried out as they walked contiguous sections of roadway.

Jacki Gauger departed the walk for a couple of days to attend to personal business at home in Maryland. Meanwhile, arriving independently from Maryland at about the same time, Ralph Jones rejoined the walk.

On the road to the West - Bearing a flag, three Sunbow 5 walkers
stride from North Carolina toward Tennessee. Photo by Regula Vellacott.

A realization we have over and over is that our group is in many ways a microcosm of humanity. The human beings who are the walkers have within them the hopes, doubts, courage, fears, good, and bad that is in all people. The walk tends to put pressure on people, to whirl them around, and to bring out their essential humanity—eventually to throw light on everything good and bad so it can be seen, and thereby to provoke the people to deal with it.

At Sundown, Ned Paschene and Joe Soto headed up onto the flank of one of the nearby Snowbird Mountains to fast; six other walkers (Rita Sebastian, Charlotte Kitchen, Ineke Soto, Silverio Jimenez, Byron Young, and Brianna M. also began four-day fasts. They are fasting for the vision of the walk, and for the strength and the unity of the people on the walk.


Charlie Commando, who just completed his four-day fast, spoke with me on the phone. He elaborated on his understanding of what the long Sunbow 5 pilgrimage is all about:

"Each person may have personal reasons for this kind of sacrifice, but each also is doing it for the group. They have the vision and they are doing it for the five colors of human beings. It's to bring them together, and to unite them to stand as one; it's for the children of the world; it's to make peace, to bring the balance for the animals, and the water, and for the people all to be healthy and clear again like they once were long ago. That's why we do it."


Tom Dostou reports that, as with all the mountains in the Appalachian chain, the scenery is exquisite in the Snowbird Mountains, the name of the local range. "It looks really nice around here," Tom said, "but we talked with some of the local people in the town of Murphy and they let us know that things are not as good as they seem.

A mountaintop mining removal operation in West Virginia, similar to the mountain top mining operations elsewhere in North America. Mountain top removal has been called "strip mining on steroids." Photo by Vivian Stockman.

"The local Copper Hill Mine excavated the top off one of the mountains and ever since the rain has caused mine wastes to drain down into the streams and rivers," Tom said.

"Also the Oakridge, Tennessee nuclear facility is only about 80 miles from here. The wind often blows from Oakridge out this way, and people say the air is bad. There is a very high cancer rate for people living around here, and they have to wonder why. So as we learned, the scenery may look nice, but sometimes that's not the whole story."


After covering 40 miles of road by walking in teams on contiguous stetches, the walkers pitched camp for the night in Andrew, North Carolina.


Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden

Read Day 68 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire

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