On October 20, he was beaten in the parking lot of Dipper's Roadhouse by a gang led by Junior Rennie. The next day, he decided to leave Chester's Mill, but was stopped by the newly-materialized Dome, witnessing the plane-crash that killed Chuck Thompson and Claudette Sanders, and the log-truck crash that occurred soon after. He met Paul Gendron on Route 119 following the crashes, and the two set out west along the wall to look for an end to the barrier before Jim Rennie arrived on the scene.
Dale and Gendron later came upon another crash at Route 117, finding Billy and Wanda Debec and Nora Robichaud dead and Elsa Andrews alive. While Gendron tried to help Andrews, the three witnessed the explosion of a CBS-13 helicopter that collided with the Dome. Not longer after, Gendron parted ways with Dale, who asked that Gendron get in contact with Colonel James Cox at the Fort Benning Army Base. Gendron agreed, and Dale continued west, meeting another man who had been following the wall from another direction, and the two surmised that Chester's Mill had been cut off from the world.
Following the appearance of the Dome, Dale banded together with newspaper reporter Julia Shumway and several other citizens in order to survive.