Thursday, March 16, 2017

Gary White #90: Going the extra mile

Armed with duct tape and head-lamp, Gary White is ready for anything.

     There are 320 climbs up Mount Le Conte represented in this photo of Gary White and Dewey Slusher thawing out in the dining room at Le Conte Lodge. Dewey posted it March 15 with this message:
If you happen to make it up to Le Conte Lodge this week and you see this man, please take a moment to stop and thank him. He's Mr. Gary White, a retired engineer and resident of Alabama who volunteers his time to help get things around the lodge up to speed for opening.This is a huge benefit for all of us who hike up there, not just the guests. The hospitality extended to us day hikers and overnighters at the shelter by the Lodge crew is a wonderful gift. By the way, Gary has hiked up to Le Conte 90 times. Think how amazing that is for someone living in the "Heart of Dixie" state.
     We all owe our thanks to dedicated staff and volunteers like Gary (and Tim Webb) who brave the cold each March to get the lodge stocked up and spruced up for guests. Their work includes unloading and storing tons of supplies that are delivered to the mountaintop by helicopter. This week's late-winter storm has delayed the flights, forcing Le Conte Lodge to cancel reservations for March 20-23.
     The waiting list just got longer!