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.
At that point, Barbara hiked back into downtown Chester's Mill, returning to Sweetbriar Rose to find the diner packed with Anson Wheeler working the stoves. He quickly took back control of the kitchen to Rose Twitchell's great relief, and helped serve patrons until an hour after closing. Before leaving for the evening, he discussed the building's generator and propane supply with Rose, and advised her to stop at Food City the next morning to stock up on meats. After closing up the diner, he headed back to his apartment above the Sanders Hometown Drugstore.
Later that night, he was visited by Julia Shumway, who had received a call from Colonel Cox. The two headed out to the barrier where it cut across Little Bitch Road, and after being largely ignored by a squad of Marines there, Dale returned Cox's call. The Colonel explained what the Army had learned about the Dome so far, including the hypothesis that the barrier was powered by a generator of some kind within Chester's Mill. Cox then requested that Barbara employ his skills as a military tracker to find the generator and disable it; Dale reluctantly agreed.