Ok, so this is probably interesting to nobody but me, but we're doing a unit on the Cariboo Gold Rush right now, and it is SO COOL! I'm sitting here in my classroom finding old archived pictures for the kids so that they can see what life was really like, and have some images in their head of how things were back in the 1860s for people arriving from all over the world, taking steamships and paddlewheelers up the Fraser River, taking mule trains and stage coaches up the Cariboo Wagon Road, and striking it rich up in the interior of British Columbia... it's really really cool! I've never studied about this before (well, that I remember, anyway!) and I'm having a blast. The novel we're reading - Cariboo Runaway - is really historically accurate, I'm finding. Even the stagecoach line that the characters take was actually a real company. And online is a veritable treasure trove of photos and original documents, like an actual mining licence or steamer ticket. Wowee!
And this is where I have realized that I am a teacher through and through. You can still travel the Cariboo Wagon Road, stopping at various historical points all the way to Barkerville - the 'capital' of the Gold Rush in B.C. And I want to do it! Take a road trip. Mostly for fun, but think of all the photos and stuff I could collect for my students next year! Aaaand yes, I realize that that would be letting my job even dictate what holidays I would take in the summer. But Oh! It would be so fun!
Ok, back to work. Yes, I realize this post makes me a humungous nerdball. But I'm hoping that my discovering this stuff, too, as the kids do, will make it all the more interesting for them!