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Photo by Debbie Stone

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Journey through the depths of Mordor

Travels with Deb

"It's the last push," shouts our guide Connor, with annoyingly, over-the-top enthusiasm. I don't believe him. And neither does anyone else in our group of six hikers. We've all learned by now that Connor's using what I refer to as "guide speak" - the rah-rah efforts that guides employ to motivate their groups to keep moving when the going gets tough.