Friday, February 6, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 66 miles down and 1,733 miles to go

Farmer Maggot in "The Fellowship of the Ring"

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” earlier this week by logging 13 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles on Saturday, three miles on Sunday and five more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 66 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,733 more miles to go before I reach Mordor.

In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m still only on the third day of his trip. I left off last week at Mile 53, about a mile away from lunch on Day 3. At Mile 54, Frodo, Sam and Pippin stop for lunch around 2 p.m. They’ve have a big time, eating and singing, only to have their singing cut short by the “cry” of a Black Rider. They pack up and leave their lunch spot around 3 p.m.

Around Mile 55, the leave the woods, the land steadily becomes more tame and the Sun begins to shine brightly. At Mile 56, the reach the area of the Marish with fields, meadows, hedges, gates and drainage dikes. Five miles later, around Mile 61, they reach the edges of the fields worked by Farmer Maggot.

About one mile later, around Mile 62, they pass through a turnip field and pass through a stout gate to a rutted lane that edged by hedges. Another mile brings them to Mile 63 and Farmer Maggot’s house and buildings. These buildings are made of brick with thatched roves, and they’re surrounded by a high wall cut by a wooden gate from the lane.

Here the group stops to eat again, between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. By the time they set out again, it’s completely dark. Two more miles brings them to Mile 65 where Farmer Maggot’s lane meets the Causeway to Buckleberry Ferry. Here they hope on a wagon for a short ride. At this point, they’re about five miles from the landing at Buckleberry Ferry.

For those of you reading this for the first time, I began this “Walk to Mordor” fitness challenge on Jan. 1. Using a book called “The Atlas of Middle-Earth” by Karen Wynn Fonstad, fans of “The Lord of the Rings” created this challenge by mapping out Frodo’s fictional trek to Mordor, calculating the total distance at 1,799 miles. They also used the original "Lord of the Rings" text to outline the journey, so you can follow their route by keeping up with your total mileage.

Those who worked out the nuts and bolts of this virtual journey have divided it into four parts. It’s 458 miles from Hobbiton to Rivendell, 462 miles from Rivendell through Moria to Lothlorien, 389 miles from Lothlorien down the Anduin to Rauros Falls and 470 miles from Rauros to Mount Doom. (Those locations should sound familiar to “Lord of the Rings” fans.) The hobbits averaged 18 miles a day, but if you walk (or jog, as I sometimes do) five miles a day, it’s possible to cover 1,799 miles in a year.

If you’re interested in learning more about the “Walk to Mordor Challenge,” I suggest you check out two Web sites, and Both of these sites provide a ton of details about the challenge, including how to get started.

In the end, check back next Friday for another update and to see how much closer I am to Mordor. I hope to knock out another five miles tomorrow and five more on Sunday, but I’ll include all that in my update next week.

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