Monday, August 27, 2012

Gold Fever

Summer has almost come to an end... I have actually already started work. I started back on Thursday for orientation and to meet some new coworkers. Information overload, to say the least!! Then today, I got to meet all the staff as it was the first official day back for everyone. After a morning jam packed full of meetings, the Principal surprised everyone by saying we were going to go play laser tag and then to DQ for blizzards. I love this school already!!

Before my summer ended, we wanted to take a little family holiday, and Steve was able to take a bit of time off work so we could get away. He will stay off until the kids start school, because then they will just be coming to school with me.

We decided to head north for a few days... way up to Gold Rush territory! We visited the historic town of Barkerville, BC, and spent 2 days exploring there. I went there a couple times when I was a kid and have great memories from that place. It was such a great experience for our kids. Here are a few of our photos from Barkerville. I will do the rest of the trip in a different post.

St. Saviour's Anglican church

I have a bit of a fascination with cemeteries, so when it was time for the walking tour to Barkerville Cemetery, of course I dragged my kids and Steve up the hill behind the priest to go hear stories about who was buried there!! So very interesting.

People came from all over the world during the gold rush days.

Yes, we had ice cream on both days!

Steve and the kids are standing at the original end of the town, close to Richfield. Now, the Barkerville tour starts on the other end of town because that is how the road leads to town in our present day.

Scott got to be helper for the talk on the history of Barkerville.

Barkerville's Chinatown was very interesting, too. It is the oldest Chinatown in BC.

We even got to go to school on our holiday! Here's Elise waiting for the teacher.

The teacher goes to the centre of town a few minutes before class and rings the bell over and over... and never cracks a smile!!

Our teacher was Mr. Mandel. I hope I don't scare my students like this when they come back to school next week!

The kids (Todd, especially) really wanted to pan for gold. This young man was very patient with them and we came away with 4 small flecks of gold. Not enough to retire on, but definitely enough to make the kids feel like successful prospectors!

Todd didn't really need to see the town to feel like he had been there... most of the 2 days he had his head in the map. I often had to stop and wait for him to catch up to us, but he was so intent on not missing any buildings, and he kept a checklist in his head of all the ones we had seen the first day and made sure we went to the other ones the next day. It actually came in pretty handy for me that he was keeping track of this information!!

The Town tour was so good that we went on both days.

This is Miss Kate... we saw her over the 2 days in several different costumes. She led some dancing lessons, played the Hertie Gertie for us, and stopped to chat later in the day after she had changed to a different dress. The funny thing is that at the end of the 2nd day, once we had returned to the nearby town of Wells where we were spending the night, I ran into her in the General store buying ice cream with her boyfriend. I said, "good day" and it was really quite awkward after seeing her in character for 2 days to see her in jeans and a t-shirt and in real life 2012... It must be hard for these actors to live the life of the 1860's for 5 months of the year and then have to step back to present day.

Mr Grimsby is quite a character. He does the waterwheel show and was such a great actor. Apparently he's been there for around 20 years... and someone said he's had the same hat all those years, too!!

Barkerville even had a town library.

At the saloon... now a restaurant where we had lunch.


Anonymous said...

That was great...I'll have to haul out the photos of when you were little...Great commentary! gg

Kimberly said...

Ok, I've now been bitten by the Barkerville bug and really want to go back! Andrea's family and mine went when we were kids... awesome memories! I have a daughter obsessed with gold rush history and this would be so perfect for her! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

deWoldeDaily said...

It's been a long time since I've been there but it is definitely on the list of things to do with the kids in the near future. It looks like you guys had a great time!!