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home » Hike For Discovery » HFD 2007 » Feb 19, 2007 - Patapsco Valley State Park - Orange Grove

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-Hodgkinís 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.

Feb 19, 2007 - 3rd Training Hike (Solo)
Patapsco Valley State Park, MD - Orange Grove

Time of Hike: 10:00 AM
Distance Hiked: 6.5 Miles
Temp During Hike: Low 23.0 įF   High 32.0 įF
Elevation Change: 350 Ft

Unfortunately I wasnít able to join the rest of the Hike For Discovery team on Saturday for the group event; an urban hike from Fort McHenry to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Luckily though, February 19th was Presidentís Day and I had off work so I was able to do my own solo hike to keep up on my training.

I returned to Patapsco Valley State Park, but to yet another area of it so I could continue work on my Ruins of Patapsco Valley State Park project while I was training. Itís great to have a park this close to home with this amount of quality hiking trails and history available. I mapped out a route that would take me past Cascade Falls , which I was sure would be frozen, and then on to the ruins of an old house.

The snow from the past week was still on the ground and was frozen into a hard sheet of ice at least 3 inches thick. I didnít even leave foot prints as I walked on top of it but getting down into the valley from my parking spot was no problem since previous hikers from a warmer day had left now frozen footprints I could use for traction.

I got to the bike trail and crossed the suspension bridge and started heading up the other side of the valley to the falls. Once there I was rewarded with a spectacular view of the frozen falls. I set up my tripod and waited for the sun to rise a little higher in the sky to illuminate the ice.

After taking several photos I worked my way farther up the hillside and continued on my planned route. I quickly realized that I had waited too long. The sun that so nicely illuminated the frozen falls had also started to make the icy snow very slippery and this time there were no previous footprints I could use for traction. I checked my map and decided that it would be much safer to head back down to the level trail along the river to Bloede's Dam.

The trip back down was not easy. At one point I slide 30 feet towards a rocky ravine but was able to stop myself at the last minute by running into a small tree. My left shin took most of the force of the hit and I have a nice bruise and some scrapes to show for it. After that adventure I was perfectly happy to spent the rest of my hike on the level (but still slippery) trails along the frozen Patapsco River.

  About Patapsco Valley State Park, MD

Park Headquarters
8020 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21043
(410) 461-5005

Patapsco Valley State Park extends along 32 miles of the Patapsco River, encompassing 14,000 acres and five developed recreational areas. Recreational opportunities include hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, horseback and mountain bike trails, as well as picnicking for individuals or large groups in the park's many popular pavilions.

For more information visit:


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