Saturday, June 24, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,306 miles down and 493 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 five miles on Friday and five more miles today (Saturday). So far, I’ve logged 1,306 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 493 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 72.6 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 1296, which was three miles past the point where Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, rested in their boats and ate before paddling on.


Ten miles later, at Mile 1306, Aragorn leads the group toward the west bank of the river. The next significant milestone comes three miles later and it’s one of the most significant milestones on the entire trip. Three miles later, the group will reach the lawn of Parth Galen below Amon Hen, and the group decides to camp there.


The next day, the Fellowship breaks apart, which is how the first book of the trilogy, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” ends. At that point, Frodo (and me) will have traveled a total of 1,309 miles from Bag End to Rauros Falls.


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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