Cloutier no lonely cowboy

Montrealer Pierre Cloutier and his horse drawn wagons rode into Greenwood.

Copper Eagle proprietors Joanne Marien and Vanessa Chartier welcomed wagon traveller Pierre Cloutier to Greenwood on July 30. Cloutier is on the verge of completing his 4

Looking like a 19th century pioneer about to complete his westward journey from the east, Montrealer Pierre Cloutier and his horse drawn wagons rode into Greenwood last Thursday, much to the delight of numerous residents enjoying their morning coffee at the Copper Eagle café.

Invited for breakfast by proprietors Joanne Marien and Vanessa Chartier, Cloutier spent several hours posing for photos and accepting wishes of continued good luck as he makes his way north.

A trek that began in November of last year is now nearing completion, an epic journey of more than 4,000 kilometres that has seen Cloutier make hundreds of new friends and experience the great hospitality that Canadians are known for.

Asked why he undertook such a challenging excursion, the 41-year-old smiled. “I wanted to show people that you can always make your dream come true,” he said. “This trip is something I dreamed of since I was a boy, and it has been even better than I’d imagined.”

Cloutier was prepared for a solitary expedition, but he soon discovered that toughing it out alone was going to be more difficult than he’d expected.

“I realized that I needed a lot of help,” he explained, “and that has been happening the entire trip. That’s been my biggest surprise, people help, people open their door —I’ve never been refused anywhere.

“I was surprised that people helped me… I know it worked like that 200 years ago when you (could have) knocked on a door (and asked) for a piece of bread… now, in 2015, it’s exactly the same way,” he said.

“That’s touching my heart very much, for the first couple of weeks, I cried a couple of times.”

Cloutier’s rig is comprised of two covered wagons, which he constructed himself, drawn by four sizeable draft horses ranging in age from seven to 14. Travelling 18-20 kilometres per day, the wagons are equipped with brakes to help the horses more easily navigate hilly terrain, along with emergency flashers and the standard slow-moving vehicle sign.

Surprisingly, the horses have been re-shoed only a handful of times along the way, and one quick glance at the heavy-duty steel shoes worn by the animals explains why.

Cloutier notes he has had absolutely no complaints from the police regarding his vehicle throughout the nine-month trip.

The affable Québécois plans to end his journey in the vicinity of Williams Lake, where he hopes to continue life as a farrier and an auctioneer, while pursuing his second dream of starting a country music band.

For Pierre Cloutier, this has been a journey of a lifetime; for the Canadians across the nation who have shared his experience, it has been a reaffirmation of the spirit that helped form this nation. Because of his courage and endurance, as well as an unflappable sense of humour, Cloutier seems destined for a long and prosperous life in the Cariboo.

Just Posted

Presenting the Graduates of 2018

BCSS celebrated the 2018 grads last weekend.

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Unregulated private land logging continues near Nelson at Cottonwood Lake

Sunshine Logging of Kaslo is cutting on private land in the area of Giveout Creek Road

30 degrees and warmer forecasted with heat wave in B.C.

The weather could stay well into next week, according to Environment Canada

Rock Creek Community Medical celebrates 40 years

The society started with a donation of land.

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

B.C. ‘will be ready’ for marijuana legalization

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says some stores open by Oct. 17

Polygamous wife appeals conviction in B.C. child bride case

Emily Blackmore was found guilty of taking her underage daughter to U.S. to marry church leader

Most Read