Saturday, August 19, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,420 miles down and 359 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 Sunday, five more on Wednesday and five more yesterday (Saturday). So far, I’ve logged 1,420 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 359 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 79.8 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 sixth day/night of the trip past Rauros Falls, which is March 1/2 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on the day before, at Mile 1405, which was where Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee and Gollum found themselves in a gully with a muddy floor and with sides dwindling to meer banks.


Two miles later, at Mile 1407, the stream they’re following begins to wind and the sky grows cloudy. Two miles later, at Mile 1409, the banks become reduced to mossy mounds. Two miles later, at Mile 1411, the stream gurgles over a stone shelf into the bog and there are dry reeds all around. Mists rise above the Dead Marshes just ahead and on both sides. They can see the Mountains of Mordor far ahead, wreathed in fog and lit by the dawn. It’s here that they take a brief rest.


Two miles later, at Mile 1413, the path that Gollum is leading them on winds through the mists as they make their way between “pools and soft mires.” They also note the absence of birds. Five miles later, at Mile 1418, around 10 a.m., the mists begin to rise and they stop for the day in a reed thicket. This marks the end of their travels on the fifth day/night of this leg of their journey.


Later that afternoon, March 1, they pick themselves up and continue on. I’ve traveled two miles past this point to Mile 1420 and the next significant miles stone, Mile 1421, comes one mile later when they will enter the heart of the Dead Marshes.


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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