That’s a fact I have a hard time wrapping my head around when we finally cruise into Wells, a town just minutes from Barkerville. This little gem’s year-round population is about 240, and it looks like it’s in dire need of some TLC. On the other hand, I find myself imagining calling it home. White-capped mountains serve as stark backdrop to the vivid purple, orange, pink and turquoise houses. Paint peels on many of them—a reminder of the unforgiving climate—but the color hints at the vibrant art community that blooms here thanks to the droves of tourists that pass through. Private and public galleries, numerous coffeehouses, and a museum draw folks in. Plus, the Annual School of the Arts hosts the town’s major festivals, making it a hot spot for live entertainment. With a dose of culture, a little nightlife and the added benefit of the nearby Bowron Lakes Provincial Park, Wells proves a nice little hideaway. Alas, Mike jolts me out of my fantasy and herds me onward to the restored boomtown.