After road tripping for 13 hours like a solo rock star from the spectacular Northwest Territories to beautiful British Columbia, I first spent the weekend in Prince George with family, and then we ventured on to their home turf, being Quesnel, BC. This was all leading up to my epic day at Barkerville. Having never have really thought to visit Quesnel, I was pleasantly surprised at all this little gem has to offer. It is a little city that is built in pristine natural settings, and boast’s a very well preserved cultural heritage. There is more then 30 heritage sight’s in the area, and you can enjoy loads of hiking trails, as well as camping, or you can even just knock back a few cold ones at the Barkerville Brewery.
It also just so happens to have the longest wooden truss walking bridge in the whole world! ‘The Old Fraser River Bridge’ proudly stretching 831 feet in length. Obviously with that kind of history and status, you can’t not pay a visit to it while in the area. So we were off to do just that. Not before making a pit stop for some coffee. I needed to get the good morning swift kick in the ass kinda jolt, so I was ready to take on the day and all its awesome activities.
My sister and brother in law, being the best tour guides ever, knew just where to take me for only the most fab experiences. We popped over to super funky Granville Coffee shop to fill up our cups with the good stuff.
They had some epic little ambiance going on. Accompanied with humorous cups(coffee and a knee-slapper, happy days!), and the coffee itself was quite tasty too. After we got some liquid energy we ventured off to check out the bridge. No wait, first I had to stop and admire the fire hydrant. Quesnel has very artistic fire hydrants all over the city. Then it was off to the bridge. Yup, it was wooden, walk able, and with a very scenic river view. Very well kept, and mighty fine looking for what it is.When we were finished basking in the view, and grabbing a selfie(it has to be done when you are there with your awesome sister).
It was en route to Barkerville!! Ok, yes, you could say I was a little bit excited. Like a kid a in a candy shop. I knew I was gonna have fun! And that WE all definitely did.
Barkerville is the largest living-history museum in western North America. Its a completely preserved gold mining town built around ‘Williams Creek’, where Billy Barker(whom Barkerville is named in honor of) and his crew ‘struck the lead’ in 1862. So in other words, he and his crewnailed it, and found a ridiculous amount of gold. Activities such as this, are right up my alley! And this just happened to be on the grandest historical scale I have experienced to date. It did not disappoint, they really go above and beyond to bring the town alive and bring you back on a little time travel to the gold rush days.
So here are the top 10 things I did in Barkerville.
1. Take part in the festive spirit of Barkerville and get dressed up for the day. Oh, and I was all over that! You had me at get dressed up. I am always down for a good dress up party. They have loads of awesome outfits to choose from, and such fab people working there to help get you all geared up.
Just checking the ol’ pocket watch. Well yes, a pocket watch disguised as an iphone. And seeing as how you are in your finest apparel, stop by the L.A.Blanc Photography Studio and have one of the very talented ladies will capture your lovely essence.
2. Take in a show at the ‘Theater Royal’. A theater rich in history, the Cariboo Amateur Dramatic Assosication began putting on shows in Barkerville in 1865, and in this particular building in 1868. It’s a great live little show, with Barkerville’s finest actors and singers, putting on a very entertaining and fun little show.
3. Have a pint and play the piano at ‘The House Hotel Coffee Saloon’. What would a visit to the local brewery be without pumping the tunes and getting the whole room up and dancing?! Well if your capable of that. I’m not though, my piano skills are a bit rusty. I did a better job of getting photo’s sitting at it.
And if after that pint you need to stop at the ladies room, it’s not hard to recognize.
4. Grind some coffee at ‘C.Strouss Drygoods and Provisions’. I mean why the heck not?! That is what it is there for, and its cleary fun. Look at the sheer enjoyment exuding from her face. My sister partook in the Barkerville’s amazing race last year, and this was one of the things she had to do. So she had pro written all over her.
5. Have a coffee, and do some socializing while your at ‘C.Strouss’. I mean your dressed for the occasion, you just ground all that coffee – I think you earned it! Not to mention it gives you a chance to meet some new locals, catch up on the town chat, and drink some exceptionally good coffee.
Don’t forget your etiquette.
6. Flash your pantaloons. Don’t blame me! Trust me, you put on a pair of Pantaloons and try to keep those bad boys under wraps. Not everyday your wearing an undergarment the size of pants. Ahhhh, its the small things in life that produce the most thrills.
7. Pan for gold at ‘Eldorado Gold Panning and Gift Shop’. It is a gold mining town, so why not try your skills at finding the shiny stuff. We were privileged enough to get lessons from Scott, a 7 time world champion gold panner. And boy was he a gold panning machine. He knew his stuff. I like to think I was pretty good at it too…. Possibly just because I had a world champion instructor – but I got my gold!
8. Pay a visit to ‘China town’. Who would have thought that even back in the mid 1800’s that they had China town’s in their cities. I wouldn’t have, that’s for darn sure. Pretty cool fact though. I didn’t get to see as much of it as I would have liked, as the day was flying by! But apparently there is also a great little Chinese restaurant called ‘Lung Duck Tong’ to eat at. Just another reason to go back.
9. Go shopping and grab a treat from the bakery ‘Goldfield Bakery’. Honestly when a lady is out on the town, obviously she is gonna do some shopping. Isn’t that a given? Especially when there are loads of cool things to buy. I made sure to pop into ‘Mason and Daly General Store’ where I was kindly assisted in trying on hats. And you can’t not stop in at the bakery when it was once upon a time owned by my brother in law’s great grandmother. Go on, treat yourself.
10. Check out ‘The Waterwheel Show’. This is where you get to learn about deep shaft placer mining, through a lively demonstration of this 1870’s technology, using nothing less than an authentic wooden cornish waterwheel. The two guys are very comical and provide some good chuckles while involving the audience. Even in the rain, the show went on. Not to be missed!
One other thing I didn’t have time for this particular visit was to go on a stage coach ride. Although it seemed as though it would be more then fitting, seeing as how I was dressed for the occasion.
Well I would say I had a pretty kick ass day at Barkerville, and would like to extend a huge thank you to all the lovely people there who made my day so memorable. Every person I encountered were so friendly and they are totally in it for you to have the best possible experience. I would visit again any day! It is one of those places, that there is so much to do, you can’t really get it all in, in one day.
Before I bid adieu to Quesnel and all its greatness to continue on my road trippin’ like a solo rockstar adventures, I once again needed a coffee. What can I say?? Coffee and morning go so well together. So I made another one of those pit stops, at Edgewood Farm. My lovely sister told me it was a must stop destination. She is always full of such great advice, I knew should wouldn’t steer me wrong now.
It was a beautiful farm just on the outskirts of town, where they sold lots of things I wanted – yet didn’t need, fresh local produce, and delicious Phil & Sebastian coffee.
Very stunning little place to stop. Once I came to the decision that I should just buy a coffee and run(before I gave into all the lovely things), I did just that. I cranked my tunes, and hit the open road of adventure and was off to see what BC had for me next.