Saturday, May 20, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,264 miles down and 535 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 Saturday of last week, five miles on Wednesday and five miles yesterday (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,264 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 535 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 70.3 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s overall journey to destroy the One Ring at Mount Doom in Mordor, I’m on the eighth day/night of the trip past Lothlorien, which is Feb. 23 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 1249, which was 15 miles past the point where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, reaches the higher Emyn Muil.


Six miles later, at Mile 1255, the group reaches the point where they camped on the west shore of the river during the daylight hours of Feb. 23. The group sees many birds circling during the day and late in the day, Legolas the elf sees and eagle.


The group begins the next part of the journey by waiting until full dark (around 8:30 p.m.) to leave. They travel slowly, and I’ve traveled nine miles past this point, all the way to Mile 1264. The next significant milestone, Mile 1267, comes three miles later when, around midnight, Sam hears racing water as the group reaches the north edge of the rapids of Sarn Gebir and they are attacked by orcs.


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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