A Quebec man who is riding across the country as a knight, promoting chivalry, has reached Saskatchewan and says he is feeling very comfortable on the Prairies.
Vincent Gabriel Kirouac, 22, has been in the province since mid-June, traversing the southern portion of Saskatchewan by following Highway 13.
"It's been going very good," Kirouac told CBC Radio host Craig Lederhouse on Thursday from Maple Creek, Sask. "Since the beginning I've never been sleeping outside. People in Canada have been very hospitable."
'They are just stunned and amazed to see something like this' —Vincent Kirouac
He said he felt especially welcomed on the Prairies and in Saskatchewan.
"I'm thinking maybe about moving to Saskatchewan after all of this," he said.
He explained that finding a place to stay has been as simple as riding into a farm yard and knocking on a door.
"You ask for the hospitality and they say 'yes' all the time," he said, adding the encounter usually begins with the person who answered the door giving him a quizzical look.
He said he introduces himself by asking if they have heard about his cross-country project.
Most have not, so he explains himself and his goal which is to raise awareness about integrity, politeness and respecting people.
"They are just stunned and amazed to see something like this happening," he said.
He said he believes it is possible for people to behave with chivalry, even in hectic times.
Kirouac insists he has not only donned a knight's costume but has taken the role to heart.
"I am a knight," he said. "I'm trying to be that symbol of something that is incorruptible... and never to fail my duty, which is to be a knight and be good and be an example."
He said he hopes people who hear his message will adopt some of what he is espousing in their own lives.
"It's all about love," he added.
Not allowed on roads through the Rockies
He said his travels will take him as far as Calgary, where he will load his mare onto a trailer for the journey across the Rocky Mountains.
Kirouac learned that livestock are not allowed on the highway route through the mountains for safety reasons.
His trek on horseback will resume in Richmond, B.C., and he hopes to attract other riders for a final ride to Stanley Park in Vancouver.
Lucy Jorgensen gave Kirouac lodgings at her home in Redvers, Sask., about a month ago.
Jorgensen said she has opened her door to strangers in the past, and when she learned Kirouac was in the area she was happy to help out.
"He was very nice," she said, noting that he visited for lunch and supper.
He also had a shower and a bed for the night.
"And then the next morning my husband made him breakfast and we visited with him for a while," she said. Jorgensen learned more about Kirouac and his chivalry quest.
"He seemed to be a kind person," she said. "A little bit on the religious side, which wasn't bad. But he never preached."
She was also impressed by how well he cared for his horse, Lionheart.
"He was very, very polite," she said.
Kirouac's journey began in April, from his home in Quebec City.