Friday, November 25, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,020 miles down and 779 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 19 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged three miles on Sunday,, four miles on Wednesday and 12 miles yesterday (Thursday). So far, I’ve logged 1,020 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 779 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 56.7 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m still on the third day of the trip past Lothlorien, which is Feb. 18 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 1,001, 14 miles from where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the ring, continued drifting down the Silverlode River early at the start of the day. They encountered no enemies during this time, but seven miles later, at Mile 1,008, the trees began to thin and the sky became gray and overcast.


Twelve miles later, at Mile 1,020, the trees disappeared altogether, and the group began to see withered downs east at the north edge of the Brown Lands. To the west, the plains were marked by tall reeds, and the group could see west to hills and mountains. I’ll reach the next significant milestone, Mile 1,023, three miles later, which is where the group will camp at the end of the day in the flats north of the Field of Celebrant.


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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