Saturday, May 27, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,274 miles down and 525 miles to go

Legolas the Elf.
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 Sunday and five miles yesterday (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,274 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 525 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 70.8 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 tenth day of the trip past Lothlorien, which is Feb. 25 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 1264, which was nine miles past where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, departed their camp on the eighth day/night of the trip. Three miles later, at Mile 1267, around midnight, Sam hears racing water as the group reaches the north edge of the rapids of Sarn Gebir.


At this point, the group is attacked by orcs, but the group manages to reach the western shore of the river. During this battle, Legolas shoots a Nazgul’s flying beast as the group moves upstream to a small shallow bay. It’s here that the group huddles in their boats for the rest of the night.


As the next day (Feb. 24) dawns, the group awakens to heavy fog, and they cover a total of two miles as they make two trips carrying their boats and packs to the foot of the rapids. Likely, exhausted, they camp by the pool that night, at Mile 1269.


The next day (Feb. 25), the group arises and leaves at full light, around 7:30 a.m. I’ve traveled five miles past this point, to Mile 1274. The next significant milestone, Mile 1281, comes four miles later, when the group passes through a brief, but heavy, rain.


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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