Virtual mileage challenge passes through eastern Oregon

Participants in the Wagons and Waves challenge will get a medal and a color in tracking sheet for their miles. Because it’s a virtual challenge, anyone can sign up.

ONTARIO — A virtual mileage challenge that begins in Ontario and follows U.S. Highway 30 as it makes its way across the state to Astoria, and Oregonians are encouraged to take part.

The challenge comes just in time for New Year’s Resolutions, according to a news release from the Newport Recreation Center, which is hosting the challenge.

Dubbed The Wagons and Waves Virtual Mileage Challenge, it follows much of the route of the Oregon Trail, crossing several mountain ranges, and passing through the renowned Columbia Gorge.

The Newport Recreation Center will be posting about points of interest along the route on its Facebook page as the challenge goes on.

“We did this with Highway 20 last year and people had so much fun, we wanted to do it again,” says Jenni Remillard, a Pendleton native who is now the Recreation Program Specialist in Newport. “This challenge is designed for anyone. You can use any activity you like to get miles: swimming, biking, running, walking, whatever works for you.”

The route is long at 477 miles, but people can team up if they want.

“Mileage is on the honor system,” says Remillard. “We love for people to post their progress on social media to keep themselves motivated, but we don’t check in on people. For some the journey might take most of the year, but if that’s what gets you in the habit of moving, that’s all that counts!”

Remillard should know, she recently completed a personal goal of virtually walking, swimming, and biking the over 3,000 miles of U.S. Highway 20 from Newport to Boston.

“It’s what finally motivated me to exercise and keep doing it and I wanted to share that with others,” she says.

Participants in the Wagons and Waves challenge will get a medal and a color in tracking sheet for their miles. Because it’s a virtual challenge, anyone can sign up. Last year, the Newport to Nyssa challenge had people from eight states participating.

To learn more, visit the Newport Recreation Center’s Facebook page, or register online at https://bit.ly/WagonsNWaves.

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