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Eugene man starts skateboarding journey to San Francisco to raise awareness for mental health

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EUGENE, Ore. -- Mike Crespino is traveling to San Francisco, but he is not taking a plane or a car. Instead, he's traveling on a skateboard for 831 miles.

“We’ve got a 30-mile-a-day minimum, so we did the math. Topography puts us at about 27 1/2 days,” Crespino said.

That nearly four-week journey started on Monday at noon at Washington Jefferson park.

“We’re taking 126 to Florence. From Florence we'll do the 101 all the way down to my hometown of Eureka, California, visit friends and family there, and then cut over to the Highway 1 down the Pacific Coast Highway all the way down to San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge," Crespino said.

He won't be traveling alone. Crespino's friend, Ethan Hall, will be his co-pilot in a car.

“I’m the support vehicle, I’m going to follow him down to make sure he is OK,” said Hall. “I was pretty honored. At first, I wasn't sure why he picked me, but we built a good relationship and he thinks the same. He has a really good way with words, I was inspired by that, he is a good guy and I’m pretty stoked to be a part of it.”


Crespino said he's thought about this day for three months. While some doubts did creep into his mind he says the support he's received so far will help him through the nearly month-long journey.

“I just skated six miles from my house down here, and I had to contemplate 831 miles of rough road and tight shoulders and cliffs," Crespino said. "I kept making jokes this whole time, the last three months of planning this, about semis."

Crespino's trek is to honor two young skaters who lost their lives to mental health issues. Ben Moody and Silas Strimple were two kids who spent a lot of time skating at Washington Jefferson park.

"I'm scared, I'm excited, I'm determined," Crespino said. "I feel driven by the cause. I feel like this is important and if it wasn't I would have give up a couple of months back."

The goal is to raise $20,000 dollars for a memorial for Moody and Strimple at the skate park. Crespino said you can follow along on the trip through the Emerald Shred Collective's Instagram page.

The page has links to watch the live streams Crespino will be doing on the trip, and also has links for donations to the cause.


Catch Nick Ursini reporting on local news and sports weekdays on KEZI 9 News.

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