"Don't you think she is getting a little plump?", my wife asked me the other day. "Who?", I replied. "Amy, she's getting rather large around her rump". Amy, our soft-coated wheaten terrier, gave us one of her looks. It was out of the "I have just been grievously offended and it will take more than a plate of chopped-up chicken breast to get me to be your friend again" category. She has an extensive wardrobe of "looks" our dog. "I suppose it's time we started walking again", I said.
If truth be told I knew it was time to dust off the pedometer and start exercising again. Some two and a half years ago, Amy and I had decided to combat the layers of fatty tissue that were attacking the pair of us by taking regular walks. To make things interesting we decided (OK, I decided, but she didn't seem to mind) that we would use a pedometer to calculate how far we walked each day and plot our course along a virtual walk from Los Angeles to California. We would use the rapidly expanding information available on the internet to learn as much as possible of the places we "virtually" traveled through. It would be good exercise, good fun and a decent attempt to discover the limits of virtual travel.
For two years all went well. We walked from Los Angeles all the way up the California coast. We visited places in our imaginations that we never knew existed. It was fun. It was the next best thing to being there. And then we crossed the state line into Oregon and we got lazy. Our pedometer gathered dust and Amy's bottom gathered fat. What we needed was a new start, a nudge in the right direction to get us going. That nudge was provided by two people. It was provided by my wife and her comments about Amy's increasing girth. And it was provided by Tina Lonergan who had come across the Blog which was the record of our trip so far and liked it.
So here we go again. I have changed the format slightly for the trip through Oregon and the posts will be virtual postcards which we virtually send every few days from our virtual walk. I hope you enjoy it. We might not think it as we trudge along the wet streets of West Yorkshire, but I am sure that both Amy and I will benefit from the exercise. The map above shows our intended route through the southern part of the State of Oregon. Whether we stick to this route or veer off in search of spectacular scenery, tasty beer or succulent chicken will depend on circumstances. Whatever happens, we will try and let you know by sending you a postcard or two.