Dharma Bear Initiative



Location: Pennsylvania

Host: Lorrie

Dates: Nov. 12-21 2009


Ginger Bear arrives in Pennsylvania!  Lorrie and Dobby show Ginger around their home in the country on the outskirts of Pittsburg.  The tour continues as Ginger checks out the back deck and sees all the pretty fall decorations! Fall is almost over here, and soon the winter decorations will be up!

       Ginger heads to Saint Vincent College, where Lorrie is the secretary for the SVC Bearcat Football Team. The college is also the summer camp home for the World-Champion Pittsburgh Steelers!   Here Ginger looks at Chuck Knoll Field in the middle of campus!  She gets to sit on the same bench where professional  players such as Troy Polomalu, Hines Ward and Ben Roethlisberger sit during camp. Thousands of people attend summer camp during late July and early August, and the Bearcat team reports mid-August.  Saint Vincent Archabbey and College was founded in 1846 by Boniface Wimmer, a monk from the Benedictine Abbey of Metten in Bavaria. The College has a rich heritage and is situated in Latrobe, PA about an hour outside of downtown Pittsburgh.  Ginger checks out Lorrie's office and sees an awesome Halloween pumpkin with the SVC Bearcat helmet and logo on it.


    An extra-special surprise!  Ginger attends a sound check for the rock band “All-American Rejects!”   The popular group was in concert that night, so Lorrie and Ginger headed into the gym to get a close-up as they set up the stage and rehearsed.


Latrobe, PA was home to Mr. Fred Rogers!  Mr. Rogers was well known for his wonderful children’s tv show “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” that aired from 1968 to 2001.  A new building on the college campus is named the Fred M. Rogers Center, which also has a wonderful walk-through museum of Mr. Roger's legacy!

One of Ginger's favorite pictures was this one, with Mr. Rogers and  Yo-Yo Ma on the left, and BIG BIRD (from Sesame Street) on the right!


Ginger is excited to get in the car and get going with Lorrie on a day trip!!! The mustang is gassed up and ready to go! Ginger also puts on her new PENN STATE SWEATER!


The first big landmark that Lorrie and Ginger passed was Fallingwater.  It is the name of a very special house that is built over a waterfall by  America’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.  Ginger sees an awesome river and falls at Ohiopyle State Park!   Ohiopyle State Park serves as the gateway to the Laurel Mountains. The focal point of the area is the more than 14 miles of the Youghiogheny River Gorge that passes through the heart of the park. The "Yough" [yawk] provides some of the best whitewater boating and rafting in the Eastern U. S. and is deceptively dangerous!  Which makes it that much more popular and exciting.

WHOA! Ginger insisted on stopping to check out an interesting new buddy... YOGI BEAR!  Yogi is near a campground (of course) and probably looking for somebody's picnic basket.













Next stop was the Flight 93 Memorial site where a plane full of people crashed on September 11th 2001.  This long drive is the very lonely road to the  Memorial site. It is unmarked and has a certain somberness that surrounds the entire area.  Upon arrival, Lorrie and Ginger paused above the site to take a moment to think about everyone that was affected by the unselfish actions of the people aboard the flight that day.


The victims of Flight 93 are remembered daily in prayer and by people leaving mementos and offerings at the site on a large wall.  On some days, over 5,000 a day will visit the site. Benches are in place with the names of those who lost their lives that day. Lorrie and Ginger said a prayer for the families and friends of those affected by this tragedy.


On the way back to Lorrie's house, a quick detour to the Latrobe airport was made.... and look who Ginger ran into.  Latrobe is also famous for being the hometown of Golf legend ARNOLD PALMER!










Lorrie and Ginger check to see if ABC has decided to put PLOT back on the message board site.  NO?  No fair!  Well, instead of playing on the computer, Lorrie and Ginger settle in our favorite chair to watch an episode of Lost.... maybe we'll check out the one with the POLAR BEAR!  And guess who else wants to watch Lost with Lorrie and Ginger...Dobby!
Time for Ginger and her well-packed travel bag to head to Pittsburgh for the next leg of her journey.  And look who we found in a Pittsburgh Starbucks, Gingers next host Rachel!   Rachel and her boyfriend had a nice visit with us, and had a whole new itinerary of places for Ginger to investigate.  Hugs to Rachel!

Location: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Host: Steelecity/Rachel

Dates: November 21-30 2009
Rachel writes: Me and Ginger on Mt. Washington overlook. 
It is a neighborhood that looks over the city of Pittsburgh. 
      The Monongahela incline is the oldest and steepest funicular transport incline in the U.S.  It takes you from Mt. Washington down to Station Square where you can find great shopping and dining and you can jump on the trolley to cross the river to get downtown.

     Ginger is admiring the Super Bowl Champions stadium Heinz Field. Home of the Pittsburg Steelers Football team.  It sits at the point that the three rivers meet.  The Allegheny River and the Monongahela River combine to make the Ohio River here.  There is a park there called Point State Park and in the summer a huge fountain is turned on.



     The Art Rooney Statue is outside of Heinz Field (the Steeler stadium).  Mr. Rooney founded the Steelers.  The team is still owned by the Rooney family.  Dan Rooney who is a part owner of the Steelers was recently appointed as the Ambassador of Ireland. 

      This is the Steeler stadium, Heinz Field.  Pittsburgh is a huge football town.  The Steelers are the only team to win six super bowls!  If you haven't guessed yet, Heinz ketchup is from Pittsburgh.  Yum!


     Next stop is Carnegie Mellon University.  This is where actor Zachary Quinto and many other famous performers went to school.  The College of Fine Arts is where he studied.  My brother went to school here for Astro Physics and has his doctorate degree from Univ of Pitt now.  Maybe he could help Daniel with time travel equations.  Ginger poses in front of the Cathedral of Learning and the Fine Arts Building.

      Multi talented artist Andy Warhol was a Pittsburgh native who also attended CMU.  Ginger is at the Warhol Museum and was happy to get her picture with his famous self portrait.  We went through the museum but no photos allowed.
      This is where the Pittsburgh Pirates play baseball.  One of Rachel's favorite things to do is go to baseball games on firework night, eat some stadium nachos, drink a beer, and root, root, root for the Pirates.  Ginger poses with a statues of J.F. “Honus” Wagner and Roberto Clemente.   Clemente was an amazing baseball player and also an amazing charity worker.  He died in a plane crash on his way to help victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua, Central America.
 Ginger is happy to see Mr. Rogers again.


      The Law Enforcement Memorial is on Pittsburghs North Shore.  The memorial honors all Law Enforcement Officers "who have made the supreme sacrifice".  This Memorial statue looks over some wreaths that were recently place on the memorial.



      After a few long days of running around the city Ginger relaxes and watches Star Trek by JJ Abrams.  One of her favorite Pittsburgh actors, Zachary Quinto, plays Spock and does a great job.  Many LOST fans are also Star Trek Fans.



Ginger goes back to Mt. Washington to say goodbye to Pittsburgh.
She had a great time.