Treading water: Day 4

The snow-covered Highway 6 is shown in the aftermath of the blizzard. PHOTO: MIKE DOYLE

Thursday, Dec. 8, update: Although Mike Doyle’s environmental and spiritual mission in Standing Rock seemed to end almost before it began, he still managed to pack a winter’s worth of trials and tribulations, as well as a lifetime of memories, into his brief visit.

Doyle fought a blizzard, high winds and sub-zero temperatures for three days just to get to the water protectors’ campgrounds about 50 miles south of the state capitol of Bismarck yesterday afternoon. Then after delivering some much-needed supplies to the campers, he suffered second-degree burns on his hands in a propane fire last night.

Sleeping at Rosebud Camp in his rented SUV, Doyle got a small taste of what the longtime campers have endured in recent weeks and throughout their eight-month protest. The outside temperature reached minus-4. Sleep was sporadic at best. After waking for the third time, he drove about five miles to the community center in the village of Cannon Ball, which has become a cold-weather shelter and staging area for supplies.

He managed another hour or two of sleep there, then drove to the main camp, Oceti Sakowin, for some spiritual healing.

“I felt a calming presence and my pain went away,” he told the Times. “I visited the medics again then walked around camp, took pictures and offered up prayers to the camp and the ancestors of the people.”

They asked him to return to Cannon Ball for another supply run.

“We loaded the SUV. I drove the supplies back down and felt that I was able to complete the mission, to help and deliver supplies,” he said. “Thanks to the people who contributed to our GoFundMe campaign, we really were able to represent Northeast Philly and Lower Bucks.”

As the short winter day drew to a close, Doyle packed up his SUV for the last time and drove back to Bismarck to catch his return flight to Philadelphia. ••

For more on Mike Doyle’s trip to Stand­ing Rock, read the ori­gin­al art­icle here:

www.bsmphilly.com/2016/dec/3/tread­ing-wa­ter/#.WE­ha6qIrLCY

Mike Doyle smiles with Kei Kurimoto, a fellow Philadelphia resident, at one of the Standing Rock camps. PHOTO: MIKE DOYLE

Sleeping at Rosebud Camp in his rented SUV, Mike Doyle got a taste of what the longtime campers have endured in recent weeks and throughout their eight-month protest at Standing Rock. PHOTO: MIKE DOYLE