Friday, July 29, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 797 miles down and 1,002 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 14 more miles since my last update. I jogged/walked five miles on Sunday, five miles on Wednesday and four more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 797 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,002 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 44.3 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the 21st day of the trip past Rivendell, which is Jan. 13 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 783, which was where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, reached a barren country of red stones. Five miles later, at Mile 788, the group reaches the Sirannon around 11 a.m.


The group finds this stream dry, so they head east on a path along the stream. Two miles later, at Mile 790, the path lies in a deep trough, and it’s a rough, winding track. Two miles later, at Mile 792, the group stops to eat quickly, around 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.


Four and a half miles later, at Mile 796.5, the group reaches the Fall of the Sirannon. Frodo, Gimli and Gandalf climb the stairs to the upland valley and return. A half mile later, at Mile 797, the group climbs a curving road to the upland valley and find it mostly filled with a lake. The next significant milestone comes three-tenths of a mile later, a Mile 797.3, where the group wads through a stream at the north end of this lake.


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 14 miles this week and 339 miles since the start of the calendar year. This Friday was the 31st Friday of the calendar year, so I’ve covered an average of 10.9 miles per week up to this point.


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

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