I’m not a couch potato.
I must confess, however, that I am a bit of a computer desk spud.
With the computer hours I spend at work, and the hours I spend writing, and helping kids research homework, and heck, just fooling around– well, let’s just say it’s a LOT of time.
Living in the frozen Northland and hating snow is also not particularly conducive to being outdoors for four months of the year. Seriously, when I have to walk from the car down to the office in blowing wind chills–it doesn’t do much to energize me.
Of course over the years, I’ve had my hot passions for Billy Blanks, Jane Fonda and even Richard Simmons. Indoors, but..uninspired.
This weekend, one of my friends at NaNoWriMo posted a quest that intrigued me: Walking to Rivendell.
A devoted fan of Lord of the Rings for 40 years, I immediately clicked to see what this was about. The folk at the EowynChallenge.net have gone through the maps created by Karen Fonstad and designed a system that allows you to track the journey of Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, with stops along the roadside, or at Bree, or at Weathertop, as you walk 458 real-world miles. For example, mile by mile, once you leave home/Bag End and travel five miles, you cross the Great Road and enter Tookland. At a cumulative 32 miles, you see your first Black Rider. After 98 miles, you visit Tom Bombadil and his lovely wife Goldberry. It’s all laid out for you there. You can track along on your map. After you’ve gone the distance to Rivendell, you can follow Pippin to Gondor, or Merry to Rohan, or walk the miles to Mount Doom if you dare.
Now isn’t that more interesting than walking around the block?
And even snow-haters like myself might be more persuaded to imagine ourselves trekking up cruel Caradhras for a grand purpose than slipping on an icy sidewalk downtown.
Further inspiration may be gained by picking up your treasured copies of Tolkien’s books and reading along as you hit the mileposts. If you like music while you walk, Howard Shore’s scores for the movies are beautiful and uplifting. Take your walking stick, a pack of Lembas bread with your water, and a sword if you need one. You never know what adventure awaits you around the next corner!
The Road goes ever on and on. Hope to meet you there this Spring.