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home » Hike For Discovery » HFD 2007 » Apr 14, 2007 - Gathland State Park to Weverton Cliffs

Meet the 2007 HFD Team

Aileen Goss
Andrea Hoffman
Brianna McMullen
Cindy Kiamko
Cindy Vogelberger
Clint Reach
Deb Donofrio
Ellen Brooks
Erin Noseworthy
 Greg Palmer
Heather Mitchell
Heidi Sowers
 Jessica Koman
Joel Shalowitz
 Kate Brotman
 Kate Greenberg
Kendra Plemmons
Kevin Pearson ‡
Kim Guercio
Kyle Bray *
Lisa Fronc *
Lauren Allen †
Olivia Darden
Patti Harden **
Paula Finkelstein
Terrill Esposito
Tracy Kight
Rosamaria Somarriba
Samuel Somarriba
** Hike Leader
* Mentor
† LLS Staff
‡ Honorary Team Member

Hike Hero - Gary

A Hike Hero in the Hike For Discovery program is a person that is currently fighting a blood cancer. The members of each group hike in honor of this individual.

The Hike Hero for the Maryland Chapter is Gary Todd. He first discovered he had enlarged lymph nodes during a visit to the hospital after having chest pains during a hike in late November 2003. In June 2005 he began feeling tired and experiencing night sweats. At first he thought he was worrying unnecessarily because of his impending retirement the next year. However, after a number of tests it was diagnosed with Stage 4, Non-Hodgkin’s spleenic lymphoma.

Gary underwent a chemotherapy treatment in six cycles over eighteen weeks and on January 1, 2006 went into remission. Unfortunately in late March of 2006 he began to feel sick again and in mid-May he began treatment with Rituxin*. He has been diagnosed with chronic lymphoma and will be taking Rituxin every ninety days for at least the next two years.

* Rituxin is an advanced and less invasive medicine that was made possible by money donated for research. It attacks only the cancerous cells and leaves healthy cells intact.

Apr 14, 2007 - 11th Training Hike
Gathland State Park to Weverton Cliffs

Time of Hike: 9:00 AM
Distance Hiked: 12 Miles
Temp During Hike: Low 46.4 °F   High 57.2 °F
Elevation Change: 500 Ft

This week was a new record for our longest group hike. We gathered at Gathland State Park on South Mountain for a 12 mile out and back hike on the Appalachian Trail. Our destination was Weverton Cliffs, overlooking the Potomac River. It was a cool but nice day and the trail was mostly level on the ridge of the mountain. Of course level is a relative term when you’ve been out hiking every weekend for 3 months.

War Correspondents Memorial at Gathland State Park
War Correspondents Memorial
at Gathland State Park

Even though the trees are starting to turn green in the valleys, mostly everything at the elevation we were hiking at was still brown. A few flowers were coming out and some new leaf buds and pine cones could be found if you looked close.

To help out with my training I carried my large backpack and loaded it up with extra weight including nearly 2 gallons of water and my backpacking stove and pan. At lunch we all had some hot tea at the cliffs and my pack was 8 lbs lighter for the 6 miles back to the car. For the first time in a while, my legs were actually a little sore after this hike; I guess the extra weight did its job.

Just a few more training hikes to go before we arrive at the Grand Canyon…

  About Gathland State Park and the AT

The 140 Acre Gathland State Park was at one time the home of Civil War Journalist George Alfred Townsend. Many of the buildings from Townsend’s home still stand along with a large stone monument dedicated to war correspondents. The park is a popular starting point for day hikes on the Maryland portion of the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail, commonly known as simply the AT, is America’s first National Scenic Trail. It stretches 2,175 miles through 14 states with end points in Maine and Georgia. It was conceived in 1921 and completed in 1937. Every year 1000s of people hike the trail, many of them attempting to hike the entire length.

For more information about the park & forest visit:

For more information about the Appalachian Trail visit:


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