Governor Tom Vilsack embarked on his annual “Walk Across Iowa” this (Monday) morning in Eagle Grove. At seven o’clock this morning Iowa’s governor set off on foot out of Eagle Grove, bound for Goldfield. During the course of the week Vilsack will have visited 17 Iowa towns, stopping for meetings with residents in places like city halls and co-ops.

Vilsack has made these walking tours of Iowa’s smaller and sometimes downright tiny towns a summer staple. This is the seventh-consecutive summer that Vilsack has had his staff plot our a walking tour, but this year’s event will be his last as governor and perhaps a kick-off of his presidential campaigning here. That could be the reason the walk is going into heavily populated areas in or near Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Waterloo, for example, where Vilsack will likely get more media coverage.

Vilsack’s walking routes will hopscotch from north central, to central Iowa, then go east and conclude the tour in his hometown of Mount Pleasant. Here’s the schedule of stops: Eagle Grove, Goldfield, Holmes and Clarion today; Ankeny, Johnston, and Des Moines Tuesday; Horton, Plainfield, Shell Rock and Waverly on Wednesday; Alburnett, Central City, Baldwin, Maquoketa on Thursday; then Lockridge, Rome and Mount Pleasant on Friday.