“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
~ J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring
Once, long ago . . .
Well, back in March 2003 anyways . . .
The “Éowyn Challenge” set a goal for interested adventurers to walk, run, swim, etc. the distance Frodo and his friends travelled from Bag End to Rivendell by the theatrical release date later that year of The Return of the King. Since then, thousands of fans have completed this “journey” and have gone on to cover even greater distances marked by milestones in Tolkien’s works. With extensive research into the book timelines and maps of Middle-earth, they’ve developed numerous charts that help add some fantasy flavor to your exercise goals.
I’ve been planning on doing this challenge for years now but never got around to it. Now, with the upcoming arrival of Amazon’s new series based on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, it feels like a great time to take those first steps on my own journey through Middle-earth!
Join My Fellowship
Want to join my quest? Start walking, running, biking, horseback riding or going however you wish to go! Measure your distance travelled and check this chart to see how far along you’ve come.
I’d love to give a shoutout to anyone willing to join me! Here are a few ways to join the fun:
- Tweet or post on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #JourneyThroughMiddleEarth. Tag @StyleMeFantasy if you’d like.
- Write a blog post and email the link to email@example.com
- Comment on this or any of my other #JourneyThroughMiddleEarth posts to let me know how far along you are
You can see more about joining up here.
#JourneyThroughMiddleEarth Day 1
The Adventure Begins
Miles 0-2 : Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Total Miles: 2
Current Location: The Shire
Skyline photo credit: www.springspreserve.org
These first few miles in The Lord of the Rings are, of course, leaving the Shire.
I live in Las Vegas, a city that’s pretty un-Shire like, but there’s a place I love to go when I’m craving a nice stroll surrounded by green, growing things. It’s not too far from the famous Strip and includes several museums, a fantastic café with an amazing view of the mountains and Las Vegas Strip buildings (see above picture), lots of trails, and my favorite – the Botanical Gardens.
The Gardens are a great place to learn about native and desert-adapted plants; there’s a real focus on sustainability, water responsibility and the history of the area. You can tour eco-conscious demo homes, take gardening classes, and of course, wander among a huge variety of plants.
This might not seem so out-of-the-ordinary for somewhere else, but here? It’s like another world! A green, wonderful world.
Temperatures are already quite high (we’ve hit 100 degrees already this year, and most days are in the 90’s) but many plants are still blooming even this late in the Spring.
Of course, there’s plenty of opportunity to get up close and personal with more iconic desert plants too.
We had a gorgeous morning amongst the plants, walked a few miles and officially started this Journey Through Middle-earth. I’m looking forward to pressing onward and hope you’ll consider joining my fellowship!
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