The Strange Animals Are Stalking You

…and they are really strange

The Real World Shire

No, I’m not gonna tell you about a real place called The Shire, I’m talking about the area the land of the Hobbits would occupy in our world. It’s alot bigger than most people think.

In “The Lord Of The Rings” (and in other places), Tolkien states that the Shire is about 120 miles from east to west (not including Buckland) and 150 miles from north to south. That’s 18,000 square miles!

Being curious as to how big that area would look using real world references, I used Streets & Trips to map out an approximation using towns I knew here in NorCal.

Starting with my hometown of Marysville as the eastern edge, 120 miles west along Highway 20 you’ll come to Ukiah. Now, that is not as the crow flies, so let’s figure that a straight line puts you a few miles west of Ukiah.

Going from north to south along Interstate 5, we’ll put Orland at the north end and Stockton (where I was born) is the southern end, pretty much exactly 150 miles.

Folks, that’s a pretty fair sized chunk of land. Even riding a fast horse, it would take you a couple of days to get from one side to the other. Walking on short hobbit legs would stretch it out to at least a week. Probaly longer, when you figure in several meals a day, naptimes, frequent rests, a long night’s sleep, etc.

And let’s remember that the Shire was not known or paid much attention to by the folk of most other lands. It was just 18,000 square miles they kind of ignored.

In roleplaying terms, seeing the size of the place makes me think that I actually didn’t go overboard when I created the kingdom of Valduria for my original D&D game all those years ago. Valduria measured roughly 160 miles from north to south and 240 miles from east to west. If you tossed in the Dwarven Lands, the Elfwood and the Greenwood (home of Halflings and many other “small folk”, you’d add maybe 75 more miles in each direction.

Just so you know, Gondor covered over 716,000 square miles and Rohan apparently never got measured, but must be pretty close to the same size as Gondor.

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Harry Potter And The Ghosts Of Baker Street

…from the post-Hogwarts days

Stuff: The Musical!

1: It was 10 years ago today that escrow closed on stately Cross Manor. Still 12 days away from the official move in date, tho.

2: Today is the start of yet another Mystery Shopping Death March. Grace is out doing hers right now, and I will head out in a couple of hours.

3: I have retouched and/or expanded about 30 characters that appeared in this LJ back in 2006, during my “365 days, 365 Characters” experiment. Only 100+ characters to go.

4: I’m re-reading “The Hobbit” and really enjoying it. I had forgotten how much lighter and more child oriented it is in comparison to LOTR.

5: We are too poor to hand out candy, so last night Grace, The Girls and I, just ate cookies and watched the comedy/horror flick “Black Sheep”. For a movie about mutant killer carnivorous sheep (and the were-sheep they create via biting) it had few laughs and not that many more scares. It did have several gross out moments, including a shot were a sheep bites a guys dick off. Filmed in New Zealand. Not really worth your time.

6: Every year, Grace and I have an Unturkey Day Thanksgiving dinner, at which we have none of the traditional food items. Over the years, we have had lasagna, curries, fish, tacos, pork roast, a big table full of buffet stuff, spaghetti and many other things. This year, in defiance of our poverty, we will be eating steak, baked potatos and salad.

More blogging later…much later…tonight.