Alaskan Trip Journal

Date: Friday, July 25, 2003

Starting Location: Barkerville, BC

Destination: Cache Creek, BC

Trip Description: Today we set aside time to tour the historic town of Barkerville. It is a living history site that seeks to recreate life in a nineteenth century mining town. We paid our admission, then began walking up the main street into town. Our first stop was the schoolhouse. The teacher, Mr. Bannerman, brought us into the classroom for a "lesson". The day opened with singing the national anthem- "God Save the Queen". There was a traditional Anglican prayer, and then a penmanship lesson. We wrote on small chalkboards with a slate writing implement. We practiced the cursive alphabet that was taught to students in the late 1800's. Interestingly, the cursive alphabet I learned at St. Joseph's wasn't much different. My penmanship was pretty good today! On a side note, I wish I could use nineteenth century disciplinary techniques on my students. Maybe then we'd see results. (I AM JOKING!)

We left the schoolhouse and made our way through the town. There are stores selling merchandise, a bakery, a restaurant, homes, and government buildings, and Chinatown. Many Chinese came to the goldfields of British Columbia in the late 1800's. Perhaps they were not feeling welcome in California? At any rate, we enjoyed our walk.

Laura and I then decided to take a wagon ride around town. It was fun to see the sights from the top of the coach. We took some pictures of the horses leading us into Barkerville. This was a lot of fun.

We then tried our luck panning for gold. We got our pan and gravel and proceeded to the water trough. There was a costumed gold miner there to teach the technique of panning for gold. He had 30 years of experience, and it showed. I was able to get the hang of it after awhile, but I was nowhere near as fast as he was. We ended up with some flakes of gold in the bottom of our pan. They were placed in a vial to keep as a souvenir.

We left Barkerville at 4 in the afternoon. Our driving destination for the day was Cache Creek. We are nearly to the southern edge of British Columbia. The land is drier, and looks more like the West then the North. On the way to Cache Creek, we stopped at The Chasm, a canyon created during the Ice Age. A picture of it is below this text.

Cache creek is a small town along BC highway 97. We found a nice camground in town near the intersection of Rt. 1 (the Trans-Canada Highway) and BC 97. The owners are very hospitable. An e-mail link to the Brookside Campsite is listed below.


Welcome to Historic Barkerville!

Our tour guides for the walk around town

We ate lunch here.

view of Barkerville from the stagecoach roof

Laura pans for gold.

We struck it rich!!!

Joe goes from teacher to bad student.

Barkerville Cemetary (near the campground)

The Chasm