Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What's not to love?

This past summer, my boys and I went to Barkerville, the "Gold Capital of British Columbia."

It was a long trip, frought with all the usual road trip joys, but for every mile we drove in our air-conditioned SUV with Star Wars blaring from the DVD player and our chilled water jugs snug in our cup holders, I couldn't help but wonder what on earth would possess a person to travel such a distance on foot or on horseback. Money, of course.
Standing on the main street of Barkerville made me fall in love with the west all over again, and it helped that my boys let me wander around, peeking into all the buildings as many times as I liked.
I loved the school house so much, I had to buy myself an old slate and pencil which the man wrapped in brown paper and tied with a string. We bought candy sticks at the confectionary store and even road the stage coach around town.
Everything about the town was amazing, from the blacksmith who tended the fires, to the library that was roped off to keep people like me from touching the books, to the family of whistle pigs that tunnelled their way around town.

And then there were the cabins.

Who lived here? Where did they come from? Who did they leave behind and why? And did they know they were making history as they hiked up the Gold Rush Trail? Story ideas are endless in a place like this - that is why it's so important that we take the time to visit historic sites like these as often as we can. It's research, after all.
One last picture before I go. I'm not a girly-girl. Never been one to get all excited about a frilly dress or minolo shoes (I don't even know if I spelled that right! LOL) However. . .I do think it would be great fun to prance around in one of these dresses for a while.

Do you have any great research trips you've taken? And did you find a flash of inspiration for a new story or character?


cheryl c said...

I am not an author, so I don't go on research trips. I do love to travel, though, and my hubby and I are very interested in history. Whenever I visit a historical site, I always wonder about the people who lived there. Were they happy, and what was their life like? I would love to visit some of the sites in the books that I love.

Laura Drewry said...

Hi Cheri

This is one reason I would love to write Scottish historicals - just so I could go visit all those amazing castles and use it as a tax write off! LOL It's just fascinating to think of how people lived, isn't it?