Friday, July 7, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,331 miles down and 448 miles to go

Gollum's glowing eyes.
I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 20 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles on Saturday, five more on Sunday, five more on Tuesday and five more today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,331 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 418 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 73.9 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 second day of the trip past Rauros Falls, which is Feb. 27 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on 1311, which was where Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee reach the south edge of the hills, a “sheer, high, impassible cliff overlooking the marshland of Nindalf, the “Wetwang,” which lies east of the Anduin River, all along the delta of the Entwash.


One mile later, at Mile 1312, they turn north away from the cliff, and two miles later, at Mile 1314, they wind around a ravine. Three miles later, at Mile 1317, they reach the steep east face of the inner hills and climb down. Two miles later, at Mile 1319, they camp around dusk, hiding behind boulders just back from the south-facing cliff. Their they see the glow of Gollum’s eyes.


The next day (Feb. 27), Frodo and Sam leave at dawn and four miles later, at Mile 1323, they climb in and out of a gully before being forced to turn more to the north. Six miles later, at Mile 1329, they have to keep as close to the cliff as they can, angling southeast. At this point, they stop to eat and I’ve covered two more miles past this point, taking me to Mile 1331.


The next significant milestone, Mile 1333, comes to miles later, where Frodo and Sam reach a point where the cliff curves more to the east.


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 1,779 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 1,779 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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