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

Heinrich hired as CAO

Heinrich has been acting in the role since March 2017.

Power out, restored in some areas

While power is now on for some of the Boundary, as many as 2,000 may still be in the dark.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Kootenay Boundary remains in unusually dangerous avalanche period

Avalanche Canada says it expects snowpack conditions to get better soon

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Former B.C. fire chief gets seven months for possession of child porn

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty during a brief hearing last year to one count

B.C. VIEWS: Public school ‘crisis’ doesn’t exist

More teachers pour in, union wants results suppressed

Most Read