Friday, May 5, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,244 miles down and 555 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 15 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles on Sunday, five miles on Wednesday and five more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,244 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 555 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 69.1 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 1229, which was nine miles past the point where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, began to see hills appearing to the west as the river passed through “low crumbling cliffs, and chimneys with grey weathers stone dark with ivy.”


Five miles later, at Mile 1234, they reach the higher Emyn Muil. I’ve traveled 10 miles past that point, to Mile 1244, and the next significant milestone comes 11 miles later, at Mile 1255, where the group camps on the west shore during the daylight hours of Feb. 23. Many birds circle during that 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 10 more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.

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