"A Push to Remember" skates across a hot Idaho

July 15, 2013 

Weather on the route.


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://sanluisobispo.com/.

Early start today to beat the heat. Began our push in Arco after a fine breakfast at Pickle's Place. Most of the day was spent on well paved roads with little traffic. Very desolate terrain we skated through today. While pushing through the Idaho National Labs area we were met by 1970s freestylist Tommy Jensen, who drove out to the middle of nowhere meet us and deliver some tea and talk story. Heck of a nice guy!

The team is getting stronger every day. What we are doing is so foreign to 99 percent of the skateboarding world. It's hard to explain the stoke in pushing up miles of 6 percent grade, on rough road in 100+ degree heat. But the stoke is definitely there.

Changed up our route today and ended up in St. Anthony, Idaho. Saturday is going to be a strange day. We will push to the western entrance of Yellowstone National Park, where we are not allowed to skate. We even enlisted the support of Congresswoman Lois Capps in our effort to secure permission to push through the park. No success, but we would like to thank Aaron Shapiro of Congresswoman Capps' office for his efforts. Turns out any 6-year-old kid can ride his bike all over Yellowstone, but highly experienced skaters can't ride through the park, even with a safety vehicle following.

Once in the park, we'll stop briefly at Old Faithful, then make our way to the eastern exit where we will push to Cody, Wyoming. We will actually skate in three states tomorrow; Idaho, a sliver of Montana and Wyoming.

As of today we are back on the route that we used in 1976 and 1984. I keep having these memory flashbacks from my earlier crossings. I also found myself wondering if some of the present day technology has taken a bit of adventure out of this push. Now with a few clicks you know right where you are, what the road ahead is like and making motel reservations is a breeze. There was something really special about those first two pushes, especially the first one in 1976, when we made it up as we went.

There is also a bit of sadness in knowing that this will be the last time I cross America by skateboard. I feel very blessed to have had these opportunities.

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