Ski your way into Wells B.C. for bliss and a simple life
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It's not the end of the road, it's the beginning of new adventures for some people
WELLS, B.C. - If you've ever been to an end-of-the-road town, you know they're always a bit different.
More often than not, they seem to attract a pioneering crowd, people doing innovative things because they have to just to survive.
It's easy to explore Wells via its routinely groomed Nordic ski trails, home to locals thrilled to welcome you into their winter nirvana.
Photos by Doc Pow
So, it would be more accurate to call Wells at the end of the Barkerville Highway, not the end of the road but the beginning of new adventures.
Nestled in the mountains of the Cariboo Region of B.C., is the District of Wells where our #SkiNorthBC expedition visited recently. We came with the goal of uncovering this region's cross-country ski possibilities, and we couldn't have found better guides for the job.
Dave Jorgenson, is a long-time local who makes his living introducing his backyard to travellers and adventure-seekers from all over the world.
And after experiencing it for myself, I can see why Jorgenson and his wife Cheryl have called Wells home for so long and why their "office" might just be one of the best in Canada.
The community of Wells is home to a wealth of treasures, not only nordic bliss. Amazing Spaces is an art gallery in Wells showcasing local art and more. (Be sure to pick up a signature Wells Ski Club shirt!)
With wide-open spaces and no one around, it's the kind of place you'd be surprised to see three or four other people out on the Nordic ski trails.
Wells' ski history goes back a long, long time, says Jorgenson, of White Gold Adventures.
In 1930, while the rest of Canada was suffering through the Depression, Wells was thriving because this community had gold. Wells had a population of 4,000 people back then, and the area was home to the world's largest creek-side gold strikes, meaning many people were flush with cash and they skied.
My friend @ApresWheeler and I experienced 15 kilometres of Nordic skiing bliss around the community which takes you up into a cross-country skier's dream. There's quality track-set snow, set amid a unique winter wonderland.
We see a lot of people come here to either ski, snowshoe or even for snowmobiling and say this is the most beautiful place they have ever experienced, says Jorgenson.
The unbelievable natural setting also is home to a friendly community of people who look out for each other.
"I wouldn't know where my car keys are if they weren't always in the ignition, says Kate Sulis, owner of the Bread Peddler, Wells' local bread purveyors.
"You have your skis on your shoulder not on your car," she adds.
The reason Kate gave up her 9 to 5 life was simple. As a passionate skier and biker, Wells gives her access to some of the best snow and trails anywhere.
Jorgenson, Sulis and their significant others Tim and Cheryl, made a decision to live here, a choice that's given them a life they dreamed about.
Sulis had a busy massage therapy practice in the city of Quesnel, near the entrance to the Barkerville Highway some 100 or so kilometres west. But three years ago, she and Tim tossed that life aside to come here for a more balanced lifestyle.
That's allowed them to pursue their passions, Nordic skiing and biking. In addition to their daily outdoor adventures, they also make a living turning out delicious organic bread from a wood-fired oven.
It doesn't matter if you're breaking bread with the Bread Peddlers after an epic day of skiing, or putting up your feet by the fire while tuning into Jorgenson's local radio station, 92.5 Park FM, around every corner there's another cool thing to be discovered.
One of those discoveries was learning more about the upcoming 14th annual Wells Arts Festival where the entire town becomes a festival venue (no joke).