"A Push to Remember" skateboard team sees a lot of ups and downs in Oregon

July 9, 2013 

Morro Bay resident Jack Smith is skateboarding across America to raise money for Alzheimer's research. Smith and his "A Push to Remember" team is hoping to raise $100,000 on their three-week trek from Oregon to New York. For the team's route and other information, visit http://www.apushtoremember.com/. Smith's updates on the trip will continue to be posted at http://www.sanluisobispo.com/.

Some more notes on Day One. Climbing and more climbing. The Santiam Pass outside Sisters in almost indescribable in its cruelty. We had crested what we thought was the summit only to be confronted with yet another brutal climb. When we finally reached the the true summit after 160 miles of skating Marc Juvinall made an attempt at the descent. Narrow shoulders, lots of high-speed traffic, seven miles of drop and fading daylight made my decision easy to pull the team off the road. We drove down the grade to Sisters where we were treated to a great Mexican dinner by Conan Issac Gay and his girlfriend. It was just what we needed. Thanks Conan.

End of Day Two finds us in John Day, Oregon...beat. The morning started off with great promise. Butter-smooth roads, wide shoulders and a tailwind. As a team we we were averaging over 15 miles per hour. At about the 100 mile mark, the road surface turned to crap...kind of a chip seal. We actually had to push down 6 to 8 percent grades, and then it got steeper and you would pick up some speed which led you to being just on the edge of control. You could feel your feet vibrate for 5 minutes once you were off the board. We skated until 7 p.m., and then made the short drive into John Day. Skated 136 miles today.

The young guns are kicking ass and making up for all my slow legs of pushing. These kids just get out there and push, and when they're done they have a smile on their face. Even the team photo/video guy Dylan Baumann is joining in some of the pushing.

Keeping us all in line and the proper pushing order is my wife Cathy, who is our driver and den mother to this troop of long distance skaters.

As all of you know, this push is to honor my father, Jack Smith, Sr., and to raise research and care funds for the Alzheimer's Association. Please visit our web site to track our daily progress or make a donation.

Day 1: A ceremonial pushoff from Morro Bay »

Day 2: Arriving at the starting line in Newport, Oregon »

Day 3: Starting the journey »

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