Friday, April 28, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,229 miles down and 570 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 10 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged three miles on Sunday, three miles on Wednesday and four more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,229 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 570 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 68.3 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m on the seventh day of the trip past Lothlorien, which is Feb. 22 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 1219, which was nine miles past where the banks alongside the river began to grow stony and the hills north of the Emyn Muil begin to rise on the eastern shore.


One mile later, at Mile 1220,  Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring past the point where hills appeared on the west as the river passed through “low crumbling cliffs, and chimneys with grey weathers stone dark with ivy.” I’ve traveled nine miles past that point, to Mile 1229, and the next significant milestone comes five miles later, at Mile 1234, where the group reaches the higher Emyn Muil. In all, the group travels 50 miles in about 13 hours on Feb. 22.


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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