Tuesday, 6 February 2007

And So It Starts

Like all good adventures it started with a coincidence. Amy, our soft-coated wheaten terrier had to go to the vet with a cut paw. In addition to prescribing the usual antibiotics the vet weighed Amy and decided she was slightly overweight. "Plenty of exercise" was his recommendation and I was determined to be more organised - and if possible more adventurous - in our daily walks. On the same day my friend Janie let me know about Microsoft Live Search and I discovered that you could plot a detailed route on the maps and aerial views which are available on the site. And then whilst shopping for beer and potatoes at the local supermarket I spotted a special offer on pedometers. Amy - and I confess her owner were in need of serious exercise, the pedometer allows me to measure our daily walks, and Live Search allows me to transfer that distance to anywhere I want in the world. The only thing that remained was to choose a starting point and a destination.

The starting point I decided upon was Union Station in Los Angeles. I have never been to the west coast of the USA and therefore it seemed a suitable starting point for our virtual adventure. Our goal would be New York .... a long, long walk. And just to make things interesting we would take in Seattle and Chicago on the way. A very rough calculation suggested that it would take us anything between three and five years to complete. Now that's what I call an adventure.

Along the way I can add whatever level of virtual reality I like. I can look at websites, photographs, films and all forms of descriptions of the places I pass through. I can listen to local radio as I walk. I can discover just how real virtual reality can be.

I will try and update progress on a weekly basis on this blog. By the end of the trip Amy and I should be a lot fitter and a little wiser.

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