8/11: Where we’ve been; Mystery Photo

GwinnettForum  |  Number 17.34  |  Aug. 11, 2017 


EEB PERSPECTIVE: Here’s why we didn’t publish in recent days
MYSTERY PHOTO: So here’s a bonus! 

Here’s why we didn’t publish in recent days

The VIA Rail Canada train going through the Rockies.

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher Dear loyal GwinnettForum readers:

You are certainly due an explanation for us not publishing for the last two weeks.

It all started because of a Mystery Photo. On January 31, 2014, Beverly Lougher of Lawrenceville sent us a mystery photo of the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton National Park in Canada. This park adjoins Glacier National Park in Montana.

And there on a promontory rising seven stories above two adjoining lakes sits the distinctive Prince of Wales Hotel, a magnificent one-of-a-kind structure. It had intrigued me ever since.  So last week, we set out on a 10-day trip out west in Canada.

The first stop was the hotel, which was the idea of a Great Northern Railroad executive, even though that railroad ran south of the hotel in Montana. It was built in 1927 to generate profits for the railroad. Additionally, the thinking was that tourists from the United States, since this was during Prohibition, could visit the hotel in Canada and freely party and imbibe.

Beverly Lougher’s photo of the Prince of Wales Hotel.

The hotel was built to be open only from May to the end of August each season.  And it was built without any insulation whatsoever. They simply drain the pipes, and shut the place down for the other eight months, as they will soon do again to close its 90th anniversary season. One bachelor maintenance person takes care of the place year-round.

While staying at the hotel, we drove across the border into Montana and took a six-hour Big Red Bus tour of Glacier Park. We had a good guide-driver, seeing the many, many jagged and gorgeous mountains, and several glaciers from afar. We even have photographs of two sightings of bears.

The next element of the trip was flying from Calgary over the Canadian Rockies to spend two days in Vancouver, British Columbia.  There we met former Norcross neighbors who now live in Savannah, Patricia and Bob Prichard, who had arrived earlier. (We had previously enjoyed Vancouver.)

Then the focal part of the trip: taking the VIA Rail Canada passenger train back to Toronto.

We had first class accommodations. It is amazing what the railroad engineers can do to make a tiny rail compartment for two so relatively comfortable. A Murphy Bed was pulled down each night, and was tight but comfortable.

Taking the cross-country Canadian rail trip in June were Tracey, Michael and Ron Rice of Peachtree Corners.

The glory of the train is its domed rail cars, allowing the passengers to be well above a normal view to take in the scenery. And on Day One on the train, you are railing and winding  through the Canadian Rockies, seeing the soaring mountains with a more rounded peaks than in Glacier Park. It is a sight to behold. It goes on and on for about a day and a half.

The second day we were on the Canadian prairies through northern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Truly, the Canadian plain is as striking here as are the mountains, in that the agricultural fields for growing grains are so vast and so productive. (A large field in Georgia is puny compared to those massive abundant fields.) This was what I had anticipated seeing, and was amazed at it.  It is a terrific breadbasket for productive farmland that seems to go on forever.

The rail trip, however, from the mid-stopping point, Winnipeg, on to Toronto, was a disappointment. The scenery is nothing but flat land, heavily-treed with large lakes and low-level rock. More and more of the same for two days. Our friends, the Prichards, had embarked at Winnipeg, and flew home from there.  That was smart of them; they did not miss any scenic areas.

The third day of the four days on the train, my wife, Barbara, wasn’t feeling good, and by the next day, neither was I. By the time we got home on Sunday, we both were abed with a pesky bug, which took our strength away.  And, though ever-so-slowly improving, we both still get tired just walking across the room.

Even just sitting and editing when feeling bad is a bummer. So no Forum, other than this, today. After all, you know you can’t be lucid as you should be when you are feeling bad.

We’re putting our hopes in the German thought: Zeit heile alle wunde, or “time heals all wounds.” It would be nice if time would past faster! We will work to put out a full edition on August 15.



So here’s a bonus!

At least let’s reward you for reading today’s comments.  It’s another Mystery Photo, one that some may recognize immediately, while others may be scratching their heads for a few days. Send in your idea of where and what the photo is to Elliott@brack.net and include your hometown.

Among those recognizing the previous mystery photo of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland were Kay Montgomery of Duluth; Deb LoPresti of Berkeley Lake; Ross Lenhart of Pawley’s Island, S.C.; and Gary Galloway of Monroe. All had recently visited there. We thought we knew who sent in the photo, but learned that person had never been to Dublin!

George Graf of Palmyra, Va., gave us more detail of “the Trinity College (aka – The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth) in Dublin, Ireland. Although often referred to as Ireland’s oldest university, Trinity wasn’t the first established in Ireland.  The Medieval University of Dublin was established in 1320, but disappeared during the Protestant Reformation.  Though now at the heart of the city, at the time of its founding, Trinity College was actually located outside and to the east of the walled city of Dublin. The Catholic Church banned Catholics from studying at Trinity in 1871 and the ban lasted until 1970.  The iconic granite campanile – or bell tower – in Trinity College’s front square was added in 1853, standing over 100 feet tall. Tourists flock to this picturesque monument facing the college’s front gate, but students are somewhat more cautious, due to a superstition that states that any student who is unfortunate enough to pass underneath it while the bell is tolling will fail their college exams. On graduation day, a celebratory walk under the campanile is a rite of passage.”

We need to give George credit for identifying the previous mystery from the Bricktown development in Oklahoma. Because of an earlier publishing day, we did not get the information in time to be included. So George’s amazing identification streak continues! 


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