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Windsor man embarks on 17-day walk from Detroit to Nashville

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As a seasoned guitar player and the owner of a music-themed lounge in downtown Windsor, Michael Showers knows a thing or two about the power of a good melody on a person’s soul — but his mission to walk more than 850 kilometres through four U.S. states might be his greatest hit yet.

On Sunday, Showers began walking from The Peacock Lounge in downtown Windsor, which he owns with his wife, toward the Ambassador Bridge. He was driven across the border where he will be sleeping at a hotel in Detroit for the night.

As of Monday, however, he will be on his own.

That’s because Showers is planning to walk from Detroit, through the U.S. states of Ohio and Kentucky, to his final destination of Nashville, Tenn. — carrying just a few personal belongings and a guitar.

The estimated length is approximately 860 kilometres from Detroit. He expects it will take him at least 17 days to reach Nashville.

"I'm going to be raising money on the way. I'm going to pick someone on the way and write 17 songs on the way. If it takes 20 days to get there, I'm going to be writing 20 songs," said Showers.

"Every day, I'm going to be writing a song to help somebody out. When I put the song on my album, the proceeds of that song will go that person."

Michael Showers, seen on April 14, 2024, sits in front of the guitar he'll be carrying on his trek between Detroit, Mich. and Nashville, Tenn. It reads: 'Peacock Walk: Windsor Canada to Nashville.' (Sanjay Maru/CTV News Windsor) Showers said the idea to embark on this harrowing feat came after years of stress spurred by the pandemic and "bad landlords."

After opening The Peacock Lounge in December 2019, shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic forced widespread closures, Showers said he and his wife has to relocate their business two times before it found a home in downtown Windsor.

"It was hard. It's been a struggle," said Showers' wife and Peacock Lounge co-owner Shannon Laprise-Showers.

"Mike woke up one morning and said that he was going to walk to Nashville because he needed to and that he now understood what mental health is and the struggles that people go through — stress, anxiety, depression — because he had all of it."

According to Showers, he's not sure what his accommodations will look when it comes time to rest during each leg of his walk.

Michael Showers, seen on April 14, 2024, passes by the University of Windsor as he walks from the city's downtown core to the Ambassador Bridge with his close friend Ducky Willis. Showers was later dropped off by car to the opposite side of the bridge, before beginning his walk from Detroit, Mich. to Nashville, Tenn. all by himself. (Sanjay Maru/CTV News Windsor) If he can't find a roof over his head, Showers said he has no problem sleeping on the street ot playing his guitar for passersby.

"I'm only bringing so much money with me. I'm going to take my guitar and just go. If I find someplace to stay, great. I hope so because I need rest and I need Wi-Fi because I'm going to be updating my walk and the footage on social media," said Showers.

His wife said she plans on making the drive from Windsor to wherever he is in the U.S. to check on him every few days.

Still, her nerves are expectedly high.

"It's going to be rough. I'll be worried about him. Anything could happen. He could be walking in the where traffic might not see him. He's 55 years old and walking for 17 days straight," said Laprise-Showers.

But, she added, the message her husband wants to get out there makes this harrowing effort all worth it.

The couple shares eight children together, plus three grandchildren.

"We have so many kids that are depending on us to show them the world isn't such a bad place and the people that are in it aren't so bad. I'm very proud of him for showing them that, even at 55 years old, if you believe in something, you need to get it done," said Laprise-Showers.

As for Showers, he hopes his walk spreads a message of kindness — particularly on social media where people are increasingly victimized to online bullying.

"People don't realize how they're affecting people's lives. They can destroy people's lives. We have to stop that and go back to basics and just enjoy people and love people," he said.

People can donate to Showers' walk — dubbed the Peacock Walk — using this link.  

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