Friday, March 4, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 548 miles down and 1,251 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 13 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles on Sunday, three more miles on Wednesday and five miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 548 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,251 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 30.5 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the sixth night of the trip past Rivendell, which is the night of Dec. 30-1 Yule on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 535, which was five miles from where the Fellowship camps in a thicket of thorn bushes during the daylight hours of Dec. 30.


I reached that point, Mile 540, on Sunday. Four miles later and four miles into Night 6, at Mile 544, the group reached a crest of another low mountain spur and began to turn southwest as they descend. Four miles later, at Mile 548, the path comes to a steep drop-off, and the group goes along the cliff-top for a while. The next significant milestone, Mile 555, comes seven miles later when the group camps during the day of 1 Yule.


So far, I’m on track to travel the 462 miles from Rivendell to Lothlorien, which is the forest realm of the Elves, between Rivendell and Mordor, within the 2016 calendar year. To pull this off in a year’s time, I’ve got to travel at least 8.9 miles per week, that is, a little more than a mile a day. So far, so good, since I covered a total of 13 miles this week and 90 miles since the start of the calendar year.


For those of you reading this for the first time, I began this “Walk to Mordor” fitness challenge on Jan. 1, 2015. 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.


The folks 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 very 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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