Dharma Bear Initiative

               Always more to see in the great state of AZ

Location: Lots of places.

Host: Goof/Karilee

Dates: April 9-19 2009



I am honored to have the privilege to host Ginger Bear as well as George Bear.  Through them I have the opportunity to share the best of my home state with all the friends I’ve made online.  I look forward to seeing the best of every ones world through these two bears.






April 2009:   Ginger arrives in Georges old stomping grounds in Sahuarita Arizona near Tucson on a Thursday.  Friday it’s time to leave on a road trip with Goof and family to Mesa near Phoenix.   Mesa is a very special place because this is where Goof grew up.  Ginger gets to sit up front and center in the driver seat with her host for the 3 hour long drive.  On the way they stop and eat at a favorite Tucson exclusive Sub sandwich restaurant chain called Eegees. It's a Goof family favorite.

Saturday 11th:  Ginger and crew have big plans for the day.  First stop is the swap meet market place to get Gingers T-shirt personalized.  She also sees many wonderful things while window shopping, including a beautiful Kachina Doll usually made by Arizona Hopi tribe.  

Next they head for downtown and visit the Mesa LDS Temple on the way.    In front of the temple Ginger sees the preparations for the annual Easter Pageant.  It’s the LDS community large production play of the Christ story from birth in Bethlehem to death and resurrection.  Unfortunately Ginger doesn’t have time to stick around and see it.

Main street Mesa has lots of charm with the old small town feel of shops and venues.  Along the sidewalks and street corners, several bronze statues of a variety of themes are displayed.  Ginger found two that seemed like scenes from Norman Rockwell paintings.

And two that were just right for a teddy bear.  One is a bear feeding her cub and the other was a polar bear protecting her two cubs. Ginger felt right at home.

For lunch everyone goes to the IKEA store in Tempe AZ for some yummy Swedish meatballs and more window shopping. Ginger loves the colorful store displays and the bin full of polar bears.


Easter Sunday 12th: Ginger attends a service at a local Methodist church with Goofs extended family and then has a fun Easter egg hunt at a nearby park.

Sunday evening, it’s time to go back home to Sahuarita and Tucson for a fun filled week.

Monday 13th: Todays scheduled field trip is the Titan Missile museum where Ginger tours the inside of an underground military facility where a nuclear missile was set and ready for launch during the cold war. When ready, the missile could have been launched within 5 minutes of receiving orders.   Now it’s just a museum to teach the public about how grateful we are that missiles like these never had to be used.   Ginger sees the (now empty) missile shell in it’s underground silo and some mannequins of technicians in radiation suits.

In the control room both Ginger and Goof get to put their

paw and hand on the launch key.

Tuesday 14th: The Pima Air & Space Museum is one of the largest aviation Museums in the world, and the largest non-government funded aviation Museum in the United States. The Museum maintains a collection of more than 275 aircraft from around the globe, including many rare and one-of-a-kind, and more than 125,000 artifacts. Here you will walk among the giants of our aviation heritage, including military, commercial, and civil aviation. 

Wednesday 15th : It’s time for a trip the Tucson Zoo. 

And of course the best part is the polar bears.


Thursday 16th : Ginger goes to the University of Arizona campus in central Tucson to visit the Flandrau science center.  There she learns about how the UofA contributed to the Phoenix Mars missions.   

Then she visits the the San Xavier Mission just like George did.


Friday 17th: For the second weekend in a row Ginger and crew drive to Mesa.  This time they stop in Coolidge AZ on the way and tour the Casa Grande Ruins.  They’re not covered in Egyptian Hyroglyphs like the ruins on LOST but they are almost as ancient.  The culture that built these structures are known as “Hohokam” which means “Those who are gone” in the Tohono-O’odham Native American language.

Saturday 18th: Just North East of Mesa is the beautiful Red Mountain.  Ginger loves that she gets to see some of the same places George has seen, and then some. 

On the other side of Red mountain, Ginger goes to the town of Fountain Hills to see the fountain that shoots water up to 560 feet high.  Built in the 1970s, this fountain held the world record for tallest water fountain for over 10 years.  Today it is the fourth tallest fountain.  Good to know its still in the top 5.















After seeing the fountain, Ginger is very tempted to take a dip in the nearby Saguaro Lake.  Yes there are lakes in the Arizona desert.  Shortly after that Ginger sees a gigantic sign on a hillside that points the way to the Arizona capitol city of Phoenix.  It's made of hundreds of huge white painted rocks.  Ginger thinks it might help airplane pilots know which way to go to find the airport.

Ginger had a wonderful time in Arizona and is excited to keep moving

on her most excellent adventure.  Next stop, New Mexico.