Leaving Hobbiton, A Walk to Rivendell

September 02, 2012

Illustration by shaylynnann.

A Walk to Rivendell

The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began... -Bilbo Baggins
Did you know that it is 458 miles from Hobbiton to Rivendell? When reading the books, it's easy to pass over the time and distance it took to travel from one fantastical place to another in Middle-Earth. 458 miles, by foot, with the Ring, and no shoes!

A Walk to Rivendell is a challenge begun by the folks at eowynchallenge.net. We here on Normal-Earth, burdened with Normal-21st-Century-Lives, cannot go traveling throughout Arda, but we can make the journey that Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin did. We can walk 458 miles! After that, it's only 2,160 miles to Mount Doom!

 If you're like me, 458 miles is far too daunting. If you're like me, you are incredibly out of shape. If you're like me, you like to take things one step at a time... but sometimes you need motivation.

This is where a map of western Middle-Earth comes in handy! Each day, you record the number of "miles" that you exercise, mapping it onto the Road. Maybe someday you'll be able to make it to Rivendell, but in the meantime, you can see where you are in Middle-Earth in comparison with the Hobbits!

(I've done something similar before, with the addition of roleplaying, but it fell through after several months. I made it past Bree, though! Also, in case any of you are wondering, I invented my Elvish name for this: Edhelaelwen (ethel-eye-win). I looked up the meaning of my name, Shaylynn, translated that meaning into elvish, and added a feminine name ending. So. Now you know my Elvish name. :)

image via

How it Works

It's a dangerous thing, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to. -Bilbo Baggins

Each day, I will record the number of miles I have 'traveled' in an exercise log. For activities other than walking or running, I'll do a guesstimate number of miles using this chart.

I'm going to keep my goals private for now, especially because I know that my time is going to be very limited this month and I won't be able to set any stellar goals. Plus, I'm not much of an athlete to begin with! So I might travel quite slowly and almost certainly won't even make it as far as, say, Bree (135 miles) during this month.

I'll be using this calculator to determine with more precision just how far I've traveled and what landmarks I am near. (It's also neat because it gives you a quote from the book relevant to your mileage!)

Each week this month, I will share a bit of my journey. I'll always tell you where I am in Middle-Earth, what some of my favorite "walks" were that week (as in, did I prefer unicycling through Farmer Maggot's field or jogging through the Forbidden Forest?), and I will try to give you a few photos of my journey.

Also, just to prove that I have a very long way to go before I am in the same physical shape as fat, hairy-footed hobbits who love food and who legs are less than half the length of mine... I will be sure to let you know where Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin are on the same "day" of their journey. Granted, they did spend all day, every day traveling. If I had nothing else to do all day, sure, I could walk 20 or more miles. I've done it a few times before. It gave me the worst blisters imaginable-- the stuff of nightmares, I kid you not. It must be nice to go hairy-footed-barefoot.

Shaylynn's Start

Middle-Earth Location: Snug at my beautiful hobbit home near Bag End.
"Miles": Well, I haven't started yet, now have I?
Traveling Music: Why does one need traveling music while one is comfortably at home and can listen to music as normal?
Traveling Shows (TV shows/movies that I watched while doing indoor exercises/exercise equipment): Haven't started yet! But I've already finished every Netflix episode of Doctor Who, Pysch, and Numb3rs.
Feeling: Sleepy and pleasant, it's the weekend and I just finished reading Narnia to my little siblings.

Hobbit's Start

Location: Bag End, Hobbiton, The Shire.
Miles: 0
Feeling: Quite comfy at home, enjoying a hearty second breakfast and thousand other meals.

Join in the fun!

Starting next Saturday, I will have a linky open to let you link to your own blog post about your own walk through Middle-Earth-- or you can just leave a comment with your progress. Comments are nice. :)

Don't forget to check out all the other fun 'Lord of the Rings' inspired posts here at my blog during Tolkien Month (September 2012). 

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  1. I feel like we should be long lost sisters!!! Not only do I adore Tolkien, but I am also in love with Doctor Who and Psych!!!! Love reading your blog!
    P.S. I figured out my Elvish name. It's Eruanna(Air-oo-ahn-nah). Can't wait for more of Tolkien month!!

  2. Hi Hannah, aka Eruanna! :)
    Ooooh, it's insane how many awesome things we both like! It's nice to meet you. :)


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