We have caught up with Spring as we travel north. There are lilacs and wild roses blooming all along the highway.
We stayed at the rodeo grounds in Williams Lake. It’s the home of the Williams Lake Stampede and feels very much like any western town that emphasizes the cowboy lifestyle.
Today we drove all the way to the town of Queznel (pronounced Kew-nel), all of 74 miles. Our first stop was to find Ken, a guy that that Gerry and Dave had met last winter in Yuma while they were all soaking in the hot tub of the RV park. He made the mistake of telling them we should stop in and say “hi” when we came through Quesnel. We took him up on his offer and after a nice visit with him, we left our RVs at his business and drove to the historical park of Barkersville. On the way there, we saw our first moose of the trip. She was near the road, wading in a bog and eating water weeds.
Barkersville was founded during the gold rush of 1862 by a gold miner named Billy Barker. In its heyday, Barkersville was said to be the largest city west of Chicago and north of San Francisco. Those glory days lasted until the gold ran out and a fire destroyed most of the town. Now it’s a restored Heritage Site with all kinds of displays, shops, and activities, including a cast of characters representing people who lived and worked in Barkersville over the course of years.
Here we are, ready to start our adventures in Barkersville.
Some of the other visitors on a tour got into the spirit of things and donned period costumes.
We might have stayed longer except it was cold, grey and muddy. We felt like we got a good sense of what it was like to live in a mining town where spring comes late and unwilllingly. So we headed back to Quesnel, and on the way we met our first bear of the trip. He was a little black bear, munching on flowers and grass beside the road. I think I have a picture of his relative from the last trip up here. The bear then had that same expression: “What? I’m eating here. Quit bothering me.”
Tonight we’re staying at the Airport Motel and RV park. There’s an airport?