Dharma Bear Initiative


Location: Bettendorf Iowa

Host: MarylandSawyer/Mary lou

Dates: July 27 - August 13, 2009

George visits LeClaire Iowa, a place once inhabited by river pilots

who faced the tricky job of getting steamboats down the treacherous

Rock Island Rapids section of the Mississippi River.

George is reunited with his old friend Cammie Bear whom he met at the

party in Missouri. Cammie helps show him around some interesting Iowa

sights such as, some great iron sculptures. Cammie is a military bear so he

decides to help teach George some work out techniques to build some

strength for his long trip.  George poses with a cat in the hat sculpture

and later hangs out with Mary's cat, ironically named Snoopy.

George enjoys a visit to a waterfront park in Bettendorf that looks over the
mighty Mississippi River and I-74 Twin Bridges. 
He stays long enough to enjoy a sunset behind the clouds.

Across the river in Moline Illinois, George tours the display of antique

and new tractors and combines in the John Deere Pavilion.  

both Iowa and Illinois grow a great deal of corn crop.

 In Rock Island Illinois, George pauses in front of the statue of the Sauk

Warrior Black Hack, who played a prominent role in the battles between the

Native Americans and white newcomers to Illinois in the early 1830's.

Lest we forget the past, this sign details the history of the Native Americans

in Rock Island area.  And also sees Such as the Sauk and Mesquaki

nations as shown in a diorama display.  George grabs a moment of fun by

sliding down the outside railing of the lodge at Black Hawk State Historic Site,

built in 1933-35 by Civilian Conservation Corps workers.


Back in Iowa, there's nothing so sweet as the sounds of cool jazz stirring

the air in Davenport, Iowa. Bix Beiderbecke is remembered for his jazz-pertise

on the cornet and piano and Bill Wundram, (right) is a writer with 65 years

experience at the Quad-City Times, Davenport, Iowa.

George poses with a picture of his beautiful host Mary.  She co-wrote a book called;

"Bettendorf, Iowa: The First Century."   It's a hardcover book that covers the

history of Bettendorf, Iowa starting from the days when the area was part of the

underground railroad for African-American people escaping from

Missouri and farther south.  As an unincorporated town, many German settlers

made their homes and farmed in Bettendorf. The city got its real start in

1903 when brothers William and Joseph Bettendorf set up a factory to mass

produce William's patented railroad car designs. The Monocoupe enclosed

cabin airplane was invented in Bettendorf at Wallace Airfield in the mid-1920's.

Today the city is a thriving community of 31,000 

with a wide variety of schools, public and private, 

companies and a progressive, family friendly atmosphere.

George was extremely impressed with Mary for knowing so much about her

homes heritage and writing the book about it.  He had a wonderful time.


Location: Wisconsin

Host: Phil4Terri/Phil

Dates: August 17 -     2009

George's host Phil writes: George, Terri, our son Connor and I started our first day
out with George by visiting the Onan Gold Pyramid, which was built by a local
man as a tourist site. It didn't catch on but it looks cool, George was excited because
all of the Egyptian glyphs and architecture reminded him of being on the island.


We then went to the largest mall in the area, Gurnee Mills,

to do some shopping for Back to School. We visited Serpent Safari where

George made a new friend, a lizard. George was intrigued by the lizard because

even though he lives on a tropical island he has never seen any lizards.


 On our way through the mall George saw several of his friends

trapped in a Rainforest Cafe' grabbing game.

Though he tried, he was unsuccessful in freeing anyone.


Next we went to Bass Pro shops where George met some other stuffed bears

like him.  A trip to the fish tank got George's tummy rumbling.

 Then it was "George, Phil and Terri go to White Castle".  
George dove into a bag of sliders and devoured two within seconds.


Then it was off to pick up Connor at school. George wanted to sign up but the

school has a "No Polar Bears" policy. Go figure.


  George, Phil and Connor went to the Rockford Airfest. 
They saw a B1B Bomber, and climbed around inside an E3 Hawkeye. 

George absolutely LOVED the spectacular airshow.

George had a fantastic time in Wisconsin with Phil and family.