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Saturday, September 15, 2012



I have heard of the town called "Wells" for many years and always wondered where it was and who lived there.  On my road trip to Barkerville, after the shuttle driver picked me up at Quesnel that Saturday morning, he said we would be making a brief stop at Wells to pick up other passengers. I would finally have an opportunity to see just where in the world Wells was and what this tiny town nestled 1200 meters up in the mountains had that might attract people to live there.

Back in the 1930's Wells was a company townsite for the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine.  Its close proximity to the gold rush town of Barkerville made it a stop-over place for travelers to the area. The town is unique with its wooden-framed heritage buildings that are painted bright colors. It has become a favorite residence for writers and artists and is the home of the Island Mountain Arts School and Public Gallery. 

The narrow main street that looks like a set from a western movie is lined with coffee shops and art galleries.  The town has a theatre group that provides most of the actors for the interactive shows at Barkerville during the summer months, and there are various music events.  That weekend there was a Cowboy Jamboree dance in Wells, in conjunction with the Cowboy Jamboree weekend at Barkerville.

We only stopped long enough for me to take a few photographs but it piqued my interest enough that I wouldn't mind exploring it at another time.  There are hotels, motels, B&Bs and campground for travelers so it's a perfect stopping-off place for anyone going to Barkerville or other places in that area. 

The Williams Creek Nature Trail is near the town.  Wells has many well maintained hiking and biking trails and in winter opportunities for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and dog sledding.  There are guided tours offered in the community and also equipment rentals.

I would have liked to explore more of this quaint little town but it was time to board the shuttle again and head farther up into the mountains to my destination: Barkerville, the town established and made famous during the Cariboo Gold Rush.

The road to Barkerville

NEXT: MY CARIBOO ROAD TRIP: PART FOUR:  The Rollicking Town of Barkerville

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