4×4 views to die for, and an amazing dinner.

Howdy folks. It was US Thanksgiving here yesterday and so I was invited by Bob Lukens out to do some 4×4 offload stuff in a CanAm off-road vehicle. There were three vehicles total and we departed Yuma about 9am but before we’d clocked three minutes driving, we were already bouncing through the desert dunes. These vehicles were terrific and can simply go anywhere!

I wasn’t sure where we were headed but I was told to bring plenty to drink and a packed lunch as we were going to visit the “Great Wall of China”…. OK.  We weren’t ten minutes into the ride when one of the vehicles had a flat tire. They had all the equipment to repair that on site so within ten minutes we were once again underway. I was amazed at the scenery being so dry with some kind of vegetation that can endure such harsh environment. We reached the foot of what seemed like a significant mountain and up we went essentially riding the peaks of each level on the way up. A well marked and worn trail led us to a huge Marker/reflector panel at the summit about two hours drive. The origin and purpose of the huge metal panel was the topic of much debate as to what its purpose actually was. Anyway, we could see well into California across the Colorado River and south into Mexico for miles. It was a slightly overcast day and temps at the summit were around 70 degrees. Not a terrible way/place to enjoy my packed lunch. On the way out, the group mentioned we would be visiting “Hitler’s Bridge”…. I said Pardon??? Anyway they wouldn’t explain, they said, “you’ll just have to see it”. We began the trip down the mountain and once on the flats below we came across this bridge… pictured below, and they were right, I wouldn’t have believed it unless I’d seen it. The Swastikas across the side walls of both sides of the bridge were dated  “1907” so well before the Nazis claimed the use of this symbol. Hitler would have been just a young boy when this was built so clearly it was not reflective of the Nazis but I have to admit, the whole site made me a bit uncomfortable. Once at home I googled it and found the following:

“For the Hindus and Buddhists in India and other Asian countries, the swastika was an important symbol for many thousands of years and, to this day, the symbol can still be seen in abundance – on temples, buses, taxis, and on the cover of books. It was also used in Ancient Greece and can be found in the remains of the ancient city of Troy, which existed 4,000 years ago. The ancient Druids and the Celts also used the symbol, reflected in many artefacts that have been discovered. It was used by Nordic tribes and even early Christians used the Swastika as one of their symbols, including the Teutonic Knights, a German medieval military order, which became a purely religious Catholic Order.”.. who knew!

Last evening, being the new kids on the block, we were graciously invited to a US Thanksgiving meal two doors down from us. There were about 35 people at this backyard potluck so the food was both plentiful and abundant. We have been made to feel very welcome in this community and we are very grateful for Bob and Doreen Lukens who have graciously connected us here. They have helped guide us to the best places to get us comfortable quickly including cell phones (now working great), internet, and various other shops one should know about while living the Arizona experience. Many thanks to them.

Today we are back at working on TRP and COPE planning well into 2019 now. We are most grateful that our retirement from the military has led us to this place where we can continue to pay forward our own good health and happiness. We are also grateful to those clinicians and support people who continue to deliver the programs to an extremely high standard. Also to Wounded Warriors Canada who have continually provided the funding to allow us to do this work.  It truly does take a community to make all this happen. We are particularly grateful for the fact that we can be in this place and still do all that important work. Have a great day!  C and K

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