There & Back Again

"The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say."
January: 63.3 miles, 395 miles from Rivendell. We're moving through a more settled part of the Shire again. When the hobbits passed this way, they found "...the land became steadily more tame and well ordered. Soon they came into well-tended fields and meadows; there were hedges and gates and dikes for drainage. Everything seemed quiet and peaceful, just like an ordinary corner of the Shire." 2 miles/day

February: 46.58 miles, 348 miles from Rivendell. We've reached the bowl-shaped hill-top where the hobbits stopped for lunch. We might stop for a short rest, but we'd better be careful that we don't sleep the afternoon away like they did! We wouldn't want to travel in this haunted land after dark...  1.6 miles/day

March: 46.59 miles, 301.5 miles from Rivendell. We made it to Bree! Strider, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin spent the night of October 1 camped on the far eastern edge of Chetwood. We've left the settled areas of Bree-Land far behind us and are in the empty lands of Eriador. We're lucky to have Strider's path to follow! We'd better enjoy the scenery here in the woodlands. We're not too far, now, from the Midgewater Marshes. 1.5 miles/day.

April:  43.71 miles, 257 miles from Rivendell. Woo hoo, the 200 mile mark!! This seemed so far away when we started. What wonderful progress we're making! We're still walking up a gradual incline as the land rises. We're traveling east and far off in front of us we can see a line of hills that seem to be slowly drawing nearer. Our next big milestone is Weathertop and it is part of that range of hills. 1.46 miles / day

May: 66.49  miles, 191 miles from Rivendell. Attack of the Nazgul. 

June: 75.96 miles, 115 miles from Rivendell. 

July: 67.08 miles, 48 miles from Rivendell. Trollshaws. 

August: 56.62 miles. RIVENDELL! Continuing on with the Fellowship: 454 miles from Lothlorien.

September: 46.12 miles, 408 miles from Lothlorien.

October: 60.14 miles, 347 miles from Lothlorien.

November: 47.82 miles, 299 miles from Lothlorien.

December: 40.55 259 miles from Lothlorien. Hollin Ridge.

January: 34.9 miles, 224 miles from Lothlorien.

February: 744 miles. Redhorn Pass. Snow becomes even heavier. Wind howls. Decide we can go no further. All huddle against the south-facing cliff, some behind Bill the Pony. Build fire. Stay until dawn.

March: 821 miles. Reach the Doors of Moria. (ca. 6 p.m.). Release Bill. Spend ca. ½ hour at Gate seeking the password. ATTACK by the Watcher in the Water.

April: Reach the 1st Deep. Fire blocks them from Orcs. Cross Bridge over Durin’s Deep. Balrog attacks. Gandalf and Balrog fallEnter woods of Lothlórien. Cross the Nimrodel. Go west upstream a short distance. Meet elves. Sleep on flets in the trees. Orc company passes during the night. Gollum appears briefly. Cross the Silverlode on ropes. Fellowship is blindfolded. Frodo notices paths are smooth, and he smells the trees and grass.