Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Montreal man re-creates a scene from the Old West

16 hooves across Canada with Pierre Cloutier
Howard Snyder

Pierre Cloutier rolled into Cardston on Monday. And we do mean rolled, driving a team of four Belgian horses pulling a tandem rig of two covered wagons. Mr. Cloutier, 41, left Montreal on the 6th of November for a cross-Canada trip to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Averaging about 25 km. per day, Cloutier and his horses are nearing the toughest test of their journey, the range after range of mountains in B.C. They will be following the Southern Trans-provincial Highway through Fernie and Creston on their way to the promised land of B.C.’s fabled Okanagon.

What prompted this cross-country epic? Cloutier says that his mid-life crisis was a little different than most. “I decided to make a change, to pick up and move to a new landscape in the west and start again. I wanted to do it like the people did 150 years ago, with a horse drawn wagon, leaving an old life behind to seek a new life in the west.” Cloutier has been surprised and pleased by the response of Canadians he has met on his journey. “Everyone has been so helpful and friendly. Maybe they recognize that it’s an adventure, and want to be involved in some way.”

Pierre Cloutier

While in Cardston, Pierre’s wagons and horses have been at the Remington Carriage Museum, and Pierre himself has stayed with Dale and Karen Pilling. The wagons have been “tuned up” by Jeremy Masterson and Warner Atwood in the Remington restoration shop.

Cloutier has a Facebook page and a Twitter account that chronicle his trip. To reach Pierre’s Facebook page “Pierre Cloutier Traversee du Canada a Cheval” click here.

The spirit of adventure is still alive, and Pierre and his four horses, Buddy, Kelly, Jenny and Betty, are re-creating a scene from the Old West as they cross Canada to the tune of the clip-clop of sixteen hooves.

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