Breaking in Wells


We were ready now to make the 9 hour drive home – but not without a few stops. The route to and from the famous gold rush town is littered with relics – we discovered a teeny homestead and old abandoned truck along the way.


Wells is located on just the other side of the ‘Jack of Clubs’ lake, and only a few minutes out of Barkerville.

Old Truck

We were going to get some food and take a driving tour of the colourful village.

It is the only functioning town near Barkerville, which makes it a good place (the ONLY place) to stop and recharge before hitting the old wagon route.

Fly Bird Lunch in Wells

We decided to stop for a bite to eat at a somewhat dumpy looking – but busy restaurant. The food happened to be pretty good too. We knew it would be ok, because it was full of locals.

Our meal was served on an old (dirty) outdoor table, situated in a less than gloriously maintained yard. My chair was broken!

We would go back though, not sure there are many other restaurants in Wells! At least the food was good – and the service friendly.

The Front Door Bear Colourful Houses in Wells

I get a kind of ‘fever’ whenever exploring a new town. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, I am picturing myself living there. I imagine what kind of business I could open, and where I would live.

I picture myself as a member of the community and try to imagine what my life would have been like, had I ended up there. It has been this way since I can remember.

New Renovation

I am sure this process has something  to do with my compulsion for experience – my need to ‘habitually run’. Life is an adventure with endless paths to explore, and if I am not exploring, I am not living.

Had this been 5 or 7 years ago, I may have moved up to Wells with my daughter, just to have the experience.

Work Live 45 Thousand

I grew up in a series of small, dumpy Ontario towns before moving to Toronto by 17, and I still enjoy the idea of life in a small town.

…And, you can own a business/residence in Wells for under 45 thousand dollars! I would imagine it could be a long, hard winter here though.

Scottish Drag Queen Wells Theatre

Something tells me that the locals do what they can to entertain themselves when the tourists are gone, and there are obviously at least a few artistic types around.

I have always felt that it is the determined, artsy people that make a community interesting, and Wells is a brilliant example of this. You need only to explore some of the industrial ‘rig towns’ in Alberta for comparison, to see what I mean.

We were recharged and ready to head out. There were a few legendary stops we still had to make…

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You can follow this tour by heading to the ‘Gold Rush Ghost Towns‘ section. Many more photos at the Habitual Runaway on Facebook.


7 responses to “Breaking in Wells

  1. I’d go nutter living there. Beautiful area though. I like your statement that life is an adventure with endless paths. Leaves one wondering… Should I have turned left when I turned right? Stuff like that. I love these peaks into places I’ll never see. So interesting!


    • Yes, I would lose my mind too – I would be putting on plays about God being a Scottish drag queen too…LOL!

      That is my achilles heel actually – contemplating options/routes & paths. I think that is why I can’t sit still – gotta see & contemplate everything.

      I am so happy I could share some not oft travelled roads with you, John :).


  2. after reading the previous comment, I had to go back and look at the purple house and “bear” out front.
    I too like to imagine myself in cool little places that I find on the road. It’s a quality of being comfortable and adaptable! Perfect for travelers!


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