Saturday, March 25, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,164 miles down and 635 miles to go

Frodo's friend Samwise Gamgee
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 Wednesday and five more miles today (Saturday). So far, I’ve logged 1,164 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 635 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 64.7 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the sixth day of the trip past Lothlorien, which is Feb. 21 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 1154, which was four miles past where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, reached the steep north face of the south downs, an inner ridge that was hidden in the dark.


One mile later, at Mile 1155, the group stopped to camp during the daylight hours in a spot where there are downs on both sides of the river. At dusk, the group gets back in their boats and resume paddling cautiously down the river. Around this point, the sky begins to clear and Samwise Gamgee notices the “rind” of the new moon.


I’ve traveled nine miles past this point, to Mile 1164, and the next significant milestone comes one mile later when the group reaches the north face of the outer down ridge. In all on this day of the trip, the group travels for a total of 13 hours and covers a distance of 50 miles.


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 10 more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.

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