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American Road Trip Talk (Podcast): Marsha Gillies: The Rocky Mountain Mermaid Part 3

Foster Braun




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In our Winter 2013 issue of American Road Magazine we wandered a bit north of our theme area of Washington State into the Canadian Rockies for the subject of our Memory Motel Column. Tucked in the foothills of the craggy grandeur of British Columbia near the town of Ainsworth Springs stands the Mermaid Lodge and Motel. Not quite the image that would seem to go with a town that grew up in the rough and tumble of the Canadian Gold Rush.


In part three and our final interview with Marsh Gillies, the current innkeeper shares a wonderful story about the bawdy mermaid sign that once graced her Lodge and the artists who have memorialized the inn.











Springfield Illinois 2012


History comes alive everyday in Springfield, Illinois! It’s interactive time-travel fun for the entire family! For more about great getaway packages call 800-545-7300 …or, go to www.visit-springfieldillinois.com. Illinois. Mile After Magnificent Mile.


Illinois Scenic Byway Commission

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Today’s interview is brought to you by the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway--Where the Mother Road Begins. From famous road-side restaurants to hidden gems, Route 66 in Illinois offers a journey back in time.


Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway




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As far back as I can remember traveling has been a part of my life. From the 1970’s when my family drove to Disney for the first time, loosing a Frisbee in the Smokey Mountains, to watching if our camera will make it through the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel - on the top of our pop-up camper. I can still see the green, wood-sided, Ford Station Wagon we took and sleeping in the back so we could get early starts. I’ve been hooked ever since.

In the past few years, I decided to combine my love for travel with my marketing profession. I especially enjoy seeing America from different perspectives, other than the interstate and relating these drives to our (U.S.) history. Who knows where it will lead, but I know it will be a fun ride.

While researching and driving our nations byways over the years I’ve come to appreciate good magazines and trusted reference material - magazine’s like American Road. I must confess, over the years I’ve picked up copies here and there, however, it was only recently that I subscribed and I’m glad I did. Since receiving the magazine, not only have I enjoyed the articles, but I enjoy the additional material on their website as well.

From time to time I review the on-line archives to see what I’ve missed. However, I’m especially drawn to Foster’s podcasts. These wonderful additions to the written articles provide a very personal perspective to the destination that is difficult to obtain from the written word.

A recent podcast with Marsha at the Mermaid Lodge & Motel in Ainsworth Hot Springs, British Columbia is a good example of this personal perspective. In addition to Marsha’s descriptions of the area’s beauty and activities, it was fun to hear about the various artists who visit, and return with their art. However, after listening to the podcast I can’t help but want to see a picture of the “original mermaid”, with or without the bikini.

It’s articles like this that make me want to get out and go. With American Roads stamp of approval, I know when I do decide to venture to Ainsworth Hot Springs, my accommodations will not be in question.

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Thanks so much for your expansive and kind comments. It has been my pleasure to visit many of these places through my interviews. Marsha is one precious lady.


Unfortunately we could not find a picture of the topless mermaid, probably because the incensed matrons of Ainsworth Springs decided that it was an image not destined for posterity let alone their husbands eyes. ;-))


Thanks again for you comment.


Foster Braun

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