Saturday, October 22, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 958 miles down and 841 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 16 more miles since my last update. I jogged/walked six miles on Saturday, five miles on Wednesday and five more miles yesterday (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 958 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 841 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 53.3 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the second day of the trip past Lothlorien, which is Feb. 17 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 942, which was eight miles from where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, began drifting down the Silverlode River, swept around the bend and the high banks hid the light of Lorien. Two miles later, bare woods could be seen on both banks, the land was silent and misty, and dusk came early.


Seven miles later, at Mile 951, the group camped in the woods on the west bank around 8:30 p.m. at the end of the day on Feb. 16. The weather was dreary and cold.


At the start of the day on Feb. 17, around 7:30 a.m., the group left their camp and returned to their travels down the Silverlode River. Bare trees continued to dot both sides of the river. They drifted down without incident, encountering no enemies.


I’ve covered seven miles from the start of the day’s travels on Feb. 17, the next significant milestone comes 29 miles later, when the group again camps on the west bank of the river at the end of the day.


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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