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Alaska to South America: Two Moto Kiwis (page 30)

Fort St James A Hidden Gem
We went to this town only because Otis (a couch surfer we met in Whitehorse) told us to. He stayed with Mel who has a sauna right on the lake. We must come to see her, because she is Otis favorite person in the world or to quote “An Inspiration”! So we did.

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. We have to turn around. Never trust the GSP again!

We got to town at about 8pm, only had a phone number for Mel and a phone that does not work in Canada, 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 need help. That was Miguel, who later took us to his place, we made a phone call to Mel, got the directions to her house. 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 . It has a few hiking trails and the ski field has the longest T bar in North America. It is an industry center for surrounding area, the main industry here is logging. There is an historical site in town, which has staff dressed as old days and show you what happened here. Because the town is located 60km from the main road, not many people come and visit here - which is a shame. The district office is trying hard to get more tourists to come in.

Mel, of course just as Otis described, nice, inspirational and lovely. She lives in a lovely log cabin beside the lake, with a beautiful garden and a vege garden too! The next day was her daughter Maya’s 3rd birthday, so we went to town and brought a wee gift for her. In the evening, Ellen made Sushi and some of Mel’s friends came along, we had a wee party for Maya and we were allowed to join in.

Sondra with Maya opening her Dora prezzy

This needs no explaining was gonna get that chocy bar the birthday girl!!

We can't not mention the sauna right at the beach. It is a heated by a log burner, you can hop in and out of the lake if feel too hot. Some friends arrived on the boat the second night, we had another party there.

Sorry bout my builders crack ladies and gents.

Now there are some really nice things happened here in Fort St James. The district office gave us some free vouchers, we also had free burgers in the Spirit Square. After three hours hiking up to Mount Pope, we dropped into the super market to get some food.

Top of Mount Pope

Ellen and I with a view second to none.

Same same ... me and the chief

Ellen didn’t read the price properly, 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 have US $20.00 only, never mind, the check out lady asked her manager and got a Canadian dollar for us! 1 dollar is not a big deal, but I bet you can’t go anywhere else to get your groceries out with 1 cent short!, the following day we returned to the shop armed with Canadian money and purchased a lot more food and duly returned the $1.00 that was paid forward to us with no expectations.

From Meguel helping us to get the directions to the 1 dollar to help us get our groceries it truly shows how generous people in Fort St James are! We love this town, if one day they have an accountant and quantity surveyor shortage, we will be here in the drop of a hat.

Some groovy shots across the lake from the beach at sunset,this IS living!!

Silhouette of Ellen and Maya

Spot the dog,He is famous now  ... bloody BIG dog I might add!

Busted .. hard arsed RTW adventure rider / cuddly bloke, Maya decided she wanted to hold my hand on the way back along the beach, she swung around in the water and played "rabbit" jumping up and down in the water with shrieks of laughter ... really cool stuff actually.

A local church down by the water front

Many thanks to Fort St James and the great people from Two Grateful Kiwis, we will now take the generosity shown to us and pay it forward for someone else to enjoy and Fort St James to benefit from.

ADVers and readers, if you are looking for a great wee time out and R&R place check it out

Author of this article: Twomotokiwis