What does it take to get two travelers to meet and stay awhile in a spot they both planned on being for only two days?
The right couch, perhaps.
Thanks to the website CouchSurfing.org, an online site which allows travelers to connect with other travelers and stay on couches or other vacant sleeping surfaces, two German travelers came to the Fort recently. Both liked it so much they stayed far beyond their planned couple of days.
Walter Dusik, a computer programmer from Germany who works in the health care industry, came to the Fort on the recommendation of a family he stayed with in McBride. He spent a couple of weeks on the family’s farm, helping out in exchange for room and board, and he was then planning to go and see Haida Gwaii, and the family said he must come and see the Fort on his way.
He connected with a local willing to host him for his stay through the CouchSurfing website and planned on staying about two days to see the historic park and a bit of the area.
When I spoke to him, Dusik had been in the Fort for 13 days.
“It’s a beautiful place to stay — and live,” said Dusik.
It was only a couple of days after Dusik arrived when Andreas Oleschak also arrived to be hosted in the same house via CouchSurfing.
Oleschak had come to the Fort to visit the national historic park and learn about the history of the fur trade.
When I spoke to the two of them, Oleschak had been in the Fort five days, after planning on staying two, and would be leaving the next day.
While they were here, they hiked Mount Pope (Dusik went up twice), went fishing with a local man on Camsell Lake, catching and cleaning their first fish, they picked berries with their host, and just swam in the lake and relaxed.
Dusik also managed to visit the “T” caves and some nearby waterfalls during his stay.
While both of them enjoyed all of the great outdoor activities the Fort had to offer, they also really appreciated the people they met during their stay.
“Normally it’s the people that make the place special,” said Oleschak.
Both travelers have since left, but both also said they would recommend the Fort to fellow travelers or people back home, and Dusik said he has already told his boss in Germany he needs to come and see it here.
Both also would return, they said.
“I think people that want to see nature and learn history, it’s quite a nice place,” said Oleschak.