Saturday, February 14, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 79 total miles down and 1,720 miles to go

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 Sunday, three miles on Wednesday and five more miles today (Saturday). So far, I’ve logged 79 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,720 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about four percent of the total trip.

In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m still only on the fourth day of his trip. I left off last week at Mile 66, about seven miles away from the end of Day 4. Frodo, Sam and Pippin ride in a way between Mile 65 and Mile 70, and their short wagon ride is surrounded by a boggy landscape. Merry joins the group at the Buckleberry Ferry landing, which the group takes to cross the river. When they reach the east shore, they look back and see a Black rider on the opposite shore.

Frodo’s group takes the main road from the ferry and about a half mile later they come to a fork in the road. The fork to the left goes to Buck Hill, and the fork to the right goes to Buckleberry. They take the right fork and the lane climbs up and down into the country.

Two and a half miles later, around Mile 73, Frodo’s group reaches Crickhollow, where the group decides to spend the night. So ends Day 3 of Frodo’s unfolding adventure. In all, Frodo’s group covered a distance of 27 total miles on Day 3.

Day 4, which is Sept. 26 on Frodo’s calendar, begins around 6 a.m. when the group leaves Crickhollow. It’s foggy and their ponies ride slowly.

Two miles later, around Mile 75, the group enters a tunnel under Hedge in order to reach the Old Forest Path. The path eventually disappears around 7:15 a.m. Three miles later, around Mile 78, the group reaches Bonfire Glade, and they can see the clear Old Forest Path beyond. Around 8 a.m., it’s sunny, but not yet sunny in the clearing. (My update next week will start at this point.)

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 at least 13 more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.

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