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
Missouri. Cammie helps show him around some interesting
sights such as, some great iron sculptures. Cammie is a military bear so he
help teach George some work out techniques to build some
strength for his long
trip. George poses with a cat in the hat
and later hangs out with Mary's cat, ironically named Snoopy.
Across the river in Moline Illinois, George tours the display of antique
new tractors and combines in the John Deere Pavilion.
both Iowa and Illinois grow a great deal of
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
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
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;
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
made their homes and farmed in Bettendorf. The city got its real start
1903 when brothers William and Joseph Bettendorf set up a factory to mass
produce William's patented railroad car designs. The Monocoupe enclosed
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.
was extremely impressed with Mary for knowing so much about her
homes heritage and writing the book about it. He had a wonderful time.
Dates: August 17 - 2009
We then went to the largest mall in the
area, Gurnee Mills,
to do some shopping for Back to School. We visited Serpent
George made a new friend, a lizard. George was intrigued by the
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 off to pick up Connor at
school. George wanted to sign up but the
school has a "No Polar Bears" policy. Go figure.