Solvitur Ambulando: It is solved by walking

A few years ago, I read an article, Walking, by Steve Kamb about walking to Mordor and I set out to walk the round-trip 3,871 miles.

It’s 1,779 miles to get from Hobbiton to Mt. Doom. Then riding the eagles back to Minas Tirith cuts the return walk to Bag End down to 1625 miles. Plus 467 more miles, roundtrip to Grey Havens. Brings my total goal to 3,871 miles. This is roughly the entire length of the Nile river, or the distance from the surface to the center of the Earth. (Mid 2019 I’m a few hundred miles from Mt. Doom.)§10-walking-to-mordor/

As best I can tell, in 2014, I had already started walking the ~4-mile round-trip to my office, and I was using walking in general to improve my fitness for some specific parkour events I was planning to attend. When I found this challenge, I looked back through all my journals and estimated how far I’d already walked. In November 2016, when I took up the Mordor challenge, I noted that I had already walked 124 times for a total of 496 miles.

As I mentioned, walk number 500 turned out to be just 8 miles short of Mt Doom. But really, I’ve only been estimating my mileage based on measuring some common walking routes and counting the walks. So this is an amazing confluence of walk-number and mileage. So at this point, I’m going to stop keeping track of the mileage. (I do still keep track of general activity each day, so I still note “walk” when I do so.)


Well, I think it’s amazing how far you can get—figuratively and literally—with small daily progress. Also, I think it’s very good for me mentally, given where I am at the end of 2019, to stop tracking this goal. It makes for one less thing on my mind.

I’m hoping that walking is now a way of life. I will note that I think absolutely nothing of walking a few miles. I’ve walked miles with a 40-pound backpack, (in minimalist sneakers.) I’ve walked 2 miles carrying 20 pounds of vegetables farmer-carry-style. I’ve fixed my back. I’ve fixed my feet.

Walk on!