"A Push to Remember" team must drive through Yellowstone

July 15, 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://sanluisobispo.com/.

Today was frustrating. Started pushing in Ashton, Idaho. First few miles were nice, good road, wide shoulders and nice scenery. The scenery kept improving, the road conditions didn't. Every time there was a passing lane, the shoulder disappeared and we would have to drive until it reappeared. Tons of traffic. We even pushed on a forest service-type road for a couple of miles.

After way too much driving we finally made it to West Yellowstone, where the guys at the local Radio Shack were able to fix my son Dylan's computer power cord for $10. I really like the service at Radio Shack, they could have just sold us a new cord for $80, but took the time to find a better solution.

Knowing that we wouldn't be allowed to skate through Yellowstone, we still stopped and took the requisite tourist photos at the entrance. As we pulled up to the gate the attendant informed us we we would have to pay $125 to enter the park because we were a commercial vehicle. Cathy tried to explain what we were doing, the attendant wasn't getting it, so I politely asked her to read the sticker on the door. She fired back, "I can read!" She eventually called over a supervisor who smoothed things and let us in for the regular $25 fee.

Of course we had to check out Old Faithful, impressive as always. Then it was time to drive to the eastern exit of the park. From there we skated to Cody, Wyoming (minus a few treacherous downhill sections). Skaters often say to us, "man, you must get some insane downhills." We do, but it's hard to bomb hills when you don't what's around the corner. Add to that the cars and semis traveling 55-70 mph a few feet away from you and it's a risk we just don't take.

Just outside Cody we hit the best asphalt of the push so far, wide shoulders were an added bonus.

The kids continue to amaze with their pushing stamina and speed. They went out exploring on their skateboards after we checked into the motel.

Tomorrow will be a tough push from Cody to Sheridan, with a big pass to conquer. Granite Pass is a formidable 9,033 in elevation.

We are always stoked and grateful when people approach us about what we are up to. We've received a handful of cash donations.

The youngsters will be uploading photos later tonight.

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