January 07, 2008 | Tips from Us >
Wells, Historic & Heritage Sites
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I can’t even begin to describe the disappointment I felt when I realized just how much there was to see and do in Barkerville, and I only had 3 hours to do it in. I usually research my travel plans thoroughly, but this summer I was on a bit of a “yahoo, let’s hit the road, come what may” kind of trip, and I was unprepared for, well, almost everything about Barkerville.
I have been to many heritage sights around B.C., but none quite as engaging as Barkerville, and none requiring so much time. So I missed staying over in the King George Hotel, right there on the main street. (While other travelers leave the gold rush town, you can sleep in a restored hotel and explore the town in the quiet of the night, or dew-drop morning, virtually alone). I missed eating tempting dim sum at Lung Duck Tong’s. I missed the theatre show, the stagecoach ride, and the cemetery tour.
However, I did manage to squeeze in an educational lesson on panning for gold, as well as the comedic skit on how to operate a water wheel. I also managed to sneak into a few candy shops before they closed. Which reminds me, I have never met anyone more friendly than the candy shop clerks in Barkerville; when my son only had $1 to buy his mini-jawbreakers, the clerk “accidentally” slipped a bit and spilled too many tiny balls of sweetness into the handmade bag. Oops, he said with a wink. Another candy store clerk (yes – there are more than one!) re-opened the store for me after she had already closed for the night. She wouldn’t dream of letting me leave without seeing her shop, despite the fact I told her I wouldn’t be buying anything.
Next time, I will leave at least a day in my itinerary for Barkerville, and a night as well, if not two.