Saturday, October 1, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 924 miles down and 875 miles to go

Galadriel of Lothlorien.

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 15 more miles since my last update. I jogged/walked five miles on Sunday, five more miles on Wednesday and five more miles yesterday (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 924 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 875 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 51.4 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the first day of the trip past Lothlorien, which is Feb. 16 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 909, which was three miles from where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, met a company of elves and had their blindfolds removed. They climb to the top of the hill of Cerin Amroth, where they spent about two hours.


Eight miles later, at Mile 917, the elves light their lanterns around 5:30 p.m. Two miles later, at Mile 919, the group reached the north side of Caras Galadan. They reached this point around 6:10 p.m. as the night’s early stars began to come out.


Four miles later, at Mile 921, the group reached the gates of Caras Galadan and clibed to meet Celeborn and Galadriel. The group remains here in Lothlorien until Feb. 16.


On Feb. 16, the group leaves Caras Galadon after breakfast, and they’re equipped with Lembas bread, cloaks and rope provided by the elves. Haldir guides the Fellowship south and east through rolling woodlands, which fall away toward the rivers. I’ve covered three miles from the start of this day’s journey.


The next significant milestone comes seven miles later, at Mile 928, where the group reaches a grassy lawn on the Silverlode, just west of the Anduin.


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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