Below is a sneak peek into Samwise Gamgee’s journal, illustrated by his daughter Elanor.  Below that, why this challenge has been my passionate heartsong for the past 15 years.   

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” 

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

DAY 1 – SEPT. 23RD – 18 MILES
On September 23rd, early in the evening, Frodo, Sam, and Pippin slipped away from Bag End. (Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 3, “Three Is Company”).  The “official” story of their leaving is that Frodo is moving to Crick Hollow and Sam and Pippin are to accompany and help him.  The real story is, Frodo is the bearer of the One Ring.  He must take the Ring to Elrond in Rivendell while trying to stay hidden from the Black Riders of Mordor.

Here below are the notes* Sam took along the way as well as a few jotted sketches. In later years, Sam’s daughter Elanor used Sam’s rough sketches to create paintings to accompany the three Books.  (Based one The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien and The Atlas of Middle Earth by Karen Fonstad and The Eowyn Challenge website.)

*This journal is a fanfiction creation by Niki Flow, based on the beautiful works of J.R.R. Tolkien; on the meticulous milestone-marker notes in The Atlas of Middle Earth by Karen Fonstad, and on the Eowyn Challenge website.

THE JOURNAL OF SAMWISE GAMGEE
23 SEPTEMBER 3018

(Mile 0)

“We left Bag End today for Rivendell at full dark, just about 7:00 o’clock it was.  It’s just us now — me (Samwise Gamgee), Mr. Frodo Baggins, and Pippin (Peregrine Took).  Gandalf charged us to carry …it….to Elrond in Rivendell.  I can’t believe I’ll finally get to see the elves.  We went around the west end and jumped a hedge then headed east.  The plan is to head to South Farthing of the Shire towards Buckland.  Gandalf has not come yet, even though he said he would be here!*  He may catch us on the road.  I hope so.”

From: “The Journal of Samwise Gamgee, 23 Sept – 20 Oct, 3018.

*Little did the three hobbits know, but Gandalf most certainly would have come if he could have.  You may remember he was “unavoidably detained” by Saruman.

(Mile 1)

“We went through a gate into a lane, then headed west.  Though it was dark when we left, I sketched the first glimpse back the way I love it, at sunset, and supper time.

“I know I’ll remember the colors in this night sky. Seems like it might be the last glimpse of peace for a very long time.”

From: “The Journal of Samwise Gamgee, 23 Sept – 20 Oct, 3018.

(Mile 2)

“We left the lane and followed the hedgerows south. They look spooky in the dark, but healthy and green. Trimmin’ the hedges will have to wait. I hope someone will see to it while we’re gone so they don’t grow too wild.”

From: “The Journal of Samwise Gamgee, 23 Sept – 20 Oct, 3018.

(Mile 3)

“We crossed The Water on a plank bridge.  The wood felt cool under my feet.  The water underneath seemed to be saying, “Turn back, Sam!” But we can’t turn back. Besides, I’ve got to look after Mr. Frodo. Even if Gandalf didn’t scare me into it, I wouldn’t have let him go alone.”

From: “The Journal of Samwise Gamgee, 23 Sept – 20 Oct, 3018.

(Mile 5)

We crossed the Great Road from the Brandywine Bridge.”

From: “The Journal of Samwise Gamgee, 23 Sept – 20 Oct, 3018.

(Mile 7.5)

“We looked back at the lights of Hobbiton from the first slopes of the Green Hill Country. Will we ever see home again?”

From: “The Journal of Samwise Gamgee, 23 Sept – 20 Oct, 3018.

Continued here
Bag End to Rivendell:  The Journal of Samwise Gamgee – Day 1

The challenge is 21 days as always, but the 458-mile journey to Rivendell took Sam and the hobbits 28 days.  All journal notes are here.  Bag end to Rivendell, Days 1-28.

COMBINING LITERATURE, FITNESS, AND FUN
♥ ♪ Heartsong ♪ ♥
There is something really amazing about combining beloved literature with a walking challenge (Middle Earth and Earth).  Our Facebook group was huge in 2012 when The Hobbit came out and included triathletes and people from around the world. We journeyed together from Bag End to the Lonely Mountain with Bilbo and company. Everyone went at their own pace.  Some, by the end of the six months for that challenge (“There and Back Again”), walked/ran/swam and/or biked over 2000 miles! 

FREE FOR ANYONE!
If you wish to create your own Eowyn challenge, please feel free to use these milestones. I began creating these milestones in 2006 and have had hosted Eowyn challenges every year since then.  I also have templates for Milestone Awards and many avatars so please let me know if you’d like those too.

Art by Niki Flow. These milestones were done on IG as a #100dayproject.

Bilbo’s journey was 967 miles.

BAG END TO RIVENDELL (397 MILES)
The Journey of Bilbo and Company

RIVENDELL TO THE LONELY MOUNTAIN (570 MILES)
The Journey of Bilbo and Company.  The Battle of Five Armies.

I was able to get to the Lonely Mountain by December 12th (The Hobbit release date).  When I began in March, I could only bike for 5 minutes.  By December I was biking for an hour or more a day.  So it really helped me gain health too.

December 26, 2011 – 1st Annual Running-for-Joy 5k, Barnegat Light NJ

THE TENTH ANNUAL RUNNING-FOR-JOY 5K/1MILE
My goal for this year is to get ready for our Tenth Annual Running-for-Joy-5k/1Mile in December by walking and riding my faithful steed Solomon (my stationary bike).  If you have an imagination, a love for all things Tolkien, and a walking or fitness goal, you may enjoy this challenge. 

September 23, 2021
THE FOURTH ANNUAL KINDSPRING EOWYN CHALLENGE
https://www.kindspring.org/challenge/join/2068/

All welcome!

Created with love.
♥. Niki Flow (Dassa Fleam of Buckland)