Friday, January 20, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,086 miles down and 713 miles to go

Aragorn, paddling his boat down the river.
I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 10 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles on Saturday and five more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,086 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 713 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 60.4 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the fifth day of the trip past Lothlorien, which is Feb. 20 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 1076, which one mile past where, just at dusk on Feb. 19, Sam spots Gollum on a log. Eight miles later, at Mile 1084, Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, camped on a small eyot near the river’s western shore. Sam and Frodo pulled watch duty, and Gollum appeared during Frodo’s watch. Aragorn woke and watched until the morning.


The group broke camp early the next morning, Feb. 20, and left while the morning was still young. They paddled for long periods of time, and the weather was still overcast with winds out of the east. I’ve traveled three miles from the start of the day, to Mile 1086, and the next significant milestone comes four miles later at Mile 1090, where the river curves east with wolds on both sides.


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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