Friday, February 20, 2015

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 92 miles down and 1,707 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 (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 92 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,707 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about five 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 79, on Old Forest Path, where the path climbs gently. Frodo’s group continues on this path for seven more miles before they reach the top of a knoll in the Forest around Mile 87.

At the top of the knoll, it’s hazy and the group’s surrounded by trees. For a couple of hours, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., the group takes a break to eat and rest. A mile later, around Mile 88, the path veers to the southeast and the company leaves the path and tries to turn north.

Between Mile 89 and Mile 90, the group crosses a series of deep folds running southeast. The group keeps turning east, but they lose their direction. About a mile later, around Mile 91, they enter a “fold” too deep to leave and follow it southeast to Withywindle. At this point, it about 4 p.m. (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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