Friday, August 11, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,405 miles down and 374 miles to go

Sam, Frodo and Gollum
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 more on Wednesday and five more today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,405 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 374 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 78.9 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 fifth day/night of the trip past Rauros Falls, which is Feb. 29/March 1 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update at Mile 1390, which was three miles from where Frodo, Samwise Gamgee and Gollum climbed down into a rift and followed it south beside a “shallow stony stream.” Two miles later, at Mile 1392, the gully turned east, broadened and grew more shallow.


One mile later, at Mile 1392, dawn begins to break, and the trio camps in the gully, during the day on the final day of February, on a wide, flat shelf of stone. At this point, the gully is just six feet deep. Frodo and Sam both plan to keep watch, but they both end up falling asleep.


Later, once dark falls, the group sets out, beginning the fifth day/night of their trip past Rauros Falls. Four miles later, at Mile 1396, the gully grows more shallow and less sloping. Four miles beyond this, at Mile 1400, the gully bottom becomes less rocky.


Two miles later, at Mile 1402, they stop and eat at a point where a creek enters the gully from the north. From there, I’ve traveled two more miles to Mile 1405, where the gully floor becomes more muddy and the sides dwindle to meer banks.


The next significant milestone comes two miles later, at Mile 1407, where the stream begins to wind and the sky grows cloudy.


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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