Local folks amused by quirky visitors
Yellowknife (Aug 02/00) - Tourists are flocking to Yellowknife this year, and some are reported to be very interesting individuals.
Whether they hail from Finland, Sweden, Japan, South Africa, Italy, the United States or southern Canada, the Land of the Midnight Sun is catching the eye of adventurous travellers everywhere.
Joan Hirons, owner of the Island Bed and Breakfast, said she has seen her share of eccentric characters.
"You meet all kinds of interesting people. I had a Japanese hippie a couple of weeks ago, that's a very rare thing.
"His hair was down below his knees and he was wearing the clothes that went along with that era ... I said something to him about how he should have been in the '60s and he said 'Yeah, I would have been a flower child,'" laughed Hirons.
Just a few days ago she met with an elderly woman from Alaska who decided to embark on a two-week trek across this part of the North in celebration of her 60th birthday.
Employees of the Visitor's Centre have some amusing stories to tell as well.
Information councillor Shona Barbour said just a few weeks ago a group of tourists who planned on visiting the Thelon River were quite surprised when they realized it was summertime up here.
"They had brought their snowsuits and stuff because they thought it was going to be winter -- they had no bug dope, no bug jackets, nothing. They had no idea," Barbour recalled.
She and the other councillors are always amazed at the motorcycle enthusiasts who bike all the way to Yellowknife from as far away as the southern United States.
And to top it all off, Barbour remembers an amusing trio of young Americans who had accumulated enough Air Miles to get a free airline ticket.
"They wanted to get the ticket for as far away as possible and Yellowknife was as far as you could go, so that's why they came here," she laughed.