Andi and Ellen Delis on top of Mount Pope. The pair are from New Zealand are on a motorobike tour from Alaska to Argentina in South America. The pair visited Fort St. James upon a recommendation from another traveller they met on their way.

Two Kiwis visit Fort and come away with memories

Andi and Ellen Delis from New Zealand visited Fort St. James while on a motorcycle tour.

We went to Fort St. James only because a fellow traveller we met in Whitehorse told us to. He had stayed with a local who showed him around the beautiful town and couldn’t say enough about how great it was. One hour before we got to Fort St James, Andi’s GPS told us to take a short cut on Dog Creek Road. Half an hour later, we found this is no longer a complete road and we had to turn around, lesson learned, never trust the GSP again!

We got to town at about 8 p.m., and only had a phone number for our host and a phone with us that does not work in Canada, so we were standing in front of a closed visitor center without a cellphone wondering how can we make a phone call.

A local man in a car saw us there, did a U turn and asked us if we needed any help. It turned out that man was was Miguel Arriaza. He then took us to his place, we made a phone call to our couch surfing host, and got the directions. Miguel also kindly led us down the road to her place. What a warm welcoming introduction of Fort St James!

Fort St James located on the side to Stuart Lake, which is 67km long, is similar size to lake Wanaka where we live in New Zealand

Our host lives near the lake, with a beautiful flower and veggie garden too! The next day was the daughter’s birthday, so we went to town and brought a wee gift for her.

Then we had even more really nice experiences here in Fort St James. The district office gave us some vouchers when we went in to check it out and so we also had free burgers in Spirit Square.

From there we went to hike the Mount Pope trail, which we had also heard about.

After three hours hiking up to Mount Pope, we dropped into the super market to get some food, I (Ellen) didn’t read the price properly, and we thought we had enough money with us but we were a dollar short!

Andi went to get the (emergency) money only to find we had only US $20, but then the check out lady asked her manager and got a Canadian dollar for us! One dollar is not a big deal, but I bet you can’t go anywhere else to get your grocery out with more than one cent short, let alone a dollar. The following day we returned to the shop armed with Canadian money and purchased a lot more food and duly returned the dollar that was paid forward to us with no expectations.

From Miguel helping us to get the directions, to the one dollar to help us get our groceries, it truly shows how generous people in Fort St James are. We love your town, if one day you have an accountant and quantity surveyor shortage, we will be here in the drop of a hat.

We will now take the generosity shown to us and pay it forward for someone else to enjoy. Hopefully Fort St James can also benefit from a good reputation you are building for visitors.

Many thanks to Fort St James.

Andi & Ellen Delis

from New Zealand

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