Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

November 8, 2013

Lloyd Vivola Photos: Longest Walk 4 arrives in Utah

The Longest Walk 4 Return to Alcatraz is in Richfield, Utah, today, Nov. 8, 2013. Walkers are headed for Nevada, and will arrive in Alcatraz on Dec. 21, with a ceremony on Dec. 22, 2013. Long Walker Lloyd Vivola shares these photos from the road, the walk across Colorado, with Censored News.

By Lloyd Vivola
Censored News
Scroll down for photos

Aho Mitakuy!

The Longest Walk 4 has reached the Colorado-Utah state-line with much support
from the good people of Grand Junction CO who have generously supplied us with
lodging, hot meals and moccasins on the ground as the spirit carries the sovereign
staff west on the Red Road toward Alcatraz Island.
Much hospitality along the way: from the likes of working-class families, soup
kitchens, an American Indian musician and a horse-rescue rancher.
We also deeply appreciate the online donations, large and small, which help
maintain safety and good health along the way.
Crossing hundreds of miles of Colorado has seemed to transpired with unusual
fluidity in spite of the many challenges. The autumn season has been kind for the
most part; the subtle, nuanced colors of the fall landscapes markedly different
from those so many of us know in the northern climes of Great Turtle Island.
Cactus and yucca began to dot the high prairie not long after we left Kansas.
We have also been blessed by many sightings of mule deer; big, bold, elegant
magpies; majestic bald and golden eagles.

The ascent of Monarch Pass - where we crossed the Continental Divide - was
exhilarating. Breath-taking scenery. And a breath-robbing effort for the thin oxygen
levels at 11,312 feet above sea level. I was very proud of our small group for how
we handled the slow climb and humbled by the awe-inspiring Creation that
encircled us every step up US Route 50 as it follows an old Ute trail across the
mountains and plains.
We enjoyed a remarkably warm reception and participation from the First Peoples
and Chicano supporters of the American Indian Movement in Pueblo which included
a presentation at the Main Public Library. There was an ample sampling of delicious
local recipes at our many convivial dinners: elk stews, rabbit and rattlesnake sausage,
and baked bison lasagna. We also participated in our first sweat lodge since leaving
eastern Kansas.
At Gunnison CO, we received an equally enthusiastic welcome from students and
young people associated with Western Colorado State University, some who joined
us for meals and the walk through town. I was very impressed, as I have been by
other young people we have met, by their thoughtful concern for issues that will
impact the ecology of the their communities for generations to come.
At Cerro Summit, we were joined by the family of the departed Robert Buckskin,
a much respected Red Road activist and one of the spiritual forces behind the original
Longest Walk in 1978. There we dedicated the day's journey to his memory.
To be sure, there is much hurt and healing along the path of the Longest Walk 4.
Among the walkers: sore muscles, bruised egos, cranky support vehicles. Among
the good folk we meet: no shortage of life challenges with human hearts and faces.
And so, we are always inspired when, in spite of such challenges, they join us in
the walking prayer.
If southwest Colorado is known as one of the coldest corners of the continent come
this time of year, we experienced just that when we were forced to camp out two
consecutive nights in sub-freezing temperatures. We can expect only colder nights
as we begin to cross the dry, desolate prairie and mesa of Utah and Nevada.
In fact, beginning here and now, US Route 50, the Longest Road in America also
becomes the Loneliest Walk in America. And so I cannot stress enough: hospitality
aside, we walk the walk on a shoe-string budget, one that helps assure safety, security
and good health as we go. Thus, contributions, no matter how small, are deeply
appreciated and can be easily made at our official website:
Thanks to those who have already donated.
As always, timely coverage of Longest Walk 4 can be accessed online at Brenda
Norrell's blogspot, CENSORED NEWS. Kudos to our resident photographer, Bad Bear
Sampson, for living it and keeping it fresh.
So until next time, wishing everyone peace and good power,
As always,
Lloyd V. 

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