Friday, October 7, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 934 miles down and 865 miles to go

Swan-ship of Celeborn and Galadriel

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 10 more miles since my last update. I jogged/walked five miles on Sunday and five more miles on Wednesday. So far, I’ve logged 934 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 865 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 51.9 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 924, which was three miles from the start of this day’s journey for Frodo’s Group, aka, the Fellowship of the Ring. The group leaves Caras Galadon after breakfast and are equipped with Lembas bread, cloaks and rope provided by the elves.


Haldir guides the Fellowship south and east through rolling woodland, which fall away toward the rivers. At noon, around Mile 930, the group reaches a grassy lawn on the Silverlode River, just west of Anduin. Here, they practice paddling and meet the swan-ship of Celeborn and Galadriel.


It’s here that they also eat lunch and exchange gifts. Around 1 p.m., the Fellowship leaves in three small boats, drifting down the Silverlode. Four miles later, at Mile 934, the group sweeps around a bend and the high banks along the river hide the light of Lorien.


The next significant milestone comes 10 miles later, at Mile 944, where the group encounters bare woods on both banks. Here, the land is silent, misty and dusk comes early.


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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