Just out for a stroll

Keller walks from Peterborough to Kincardine

By Josh Howald

Marnie Kellar announced she was going to visit her son and granddaughter in Kincardine.

Marnie Kellar enjoys a visit with granddaughter Peyton after arriving in Kincardine. (Josh Howald photo)


"Ok," she heard back.

"I'm going to walk there. And I'm going to take the scenic route around Lake Simcoe," she added.

She got a puzzled look, but the same response.

"Nobody really believed me until about the day before," said Kellar on Thursday.

Anxiety and depression had kept her trapped in her own bedroom in Peterborough, and she decided to bust out in a big way. Soothed by nature, she made the decision to make the 330-km trek from Peterborough to Kincardine.

She left in the last week of July, but only got as far as Barrie. She was forced to abandon the trek after her support team decided not to proceed any further. So Kellar regrouped, and set out again Aug. 17, from Barrie. Eight long days of walking later, she walked the final leg of the trip to Kincardine Thursday morning. She had spent Wednesday night at Fisherman's Cove.

Initially, Kellar decided walking to visit family in Kincardine would benefit her own mental health. She has since realized she has had an impact on several people she has encountered along the way. A few days before arriving in Kincardine, she said a woman stopped her to talk and admitted that she had been suicidal the previous week.

"I gave her a big hug, and told her to seek out help. Suicide isn't an option," she said. "People need to start asking for help. It's unfortunate that people feel they can't go and get the help they need."

She also stopped in Hanover and visited with staff and clients at the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction. She has started a GoFundMe page under the name AshestoFire320. Funds raised through the page will be donated to the CMHA chapters of Haliburton-Kawartha-Pine Ridge, Simcoe and Grey-Bruce.

Kellar was all smiles on Thursday, accompanied by her granddaughter Peyton.

"I'm happy to be here," she smiled.

"I'm looking forward to exploring Kincardine. I have been here before, but never really had a chance to look around at all. It will be nice to get up tomorrow morning and not have to start walking."

After relaxing and recovering for the weekend, she had plans to return home - by vehicle.