Rattlesnakes, cacti, blisters and beef jerky.
Jeff “Hot Dog” Markman is 475 miles into his nearly 800-mile skateboarding trip to Southern California and days closer to sending skateboards to children in Brazil.
Markman and Tim Schaefer, longtime members of Durango’s skateboarding community, launched the Boards for Brazil fundraiser, which ends Nov. 1, to send skateboards to youths in Fortaleza, Brazil. Markman set out on his long-distance skate trip to draw attention to the fundraiser, and Schaefer will deliver the boards to Fortaleza in December.
“Yeah, I’m scared sometimes. Yeah, I’m completely tired sometimes. But I’m making good distance, and I’m still making my checkpoints,” Markman said. “If I wasn’t doing this, then (Boards for Brazil) might not have even reached $3,000.”
Markman is close to Kingman, Arizona, and preparing to pass through Needles and Joshua Tree National Park in California. Since he started his journey Oct. 1, Boards for Brazil has raised $5,343, almost $2,500 more than its goal.
Local punk bands joined the effort Thursday in Durango. Punk Rock Breakfast hosted “Punks for Brazil” at the Balcony Bar and Grill to raise money for the effort.
Markman’s days consist of applying sunscreen; drinking water; coasting across the flat, bare expanse of the Southwestern desert; and the steady roll of his skateboard against pavement.
“I have no idea what feels like 10 miles or 20 miles. Then I finally get to a spot and realize I went 35 miles, not 10,” he said.
In some ways, the trip has been more difficult than Markman expected. Ten days into his journey, his feet were blistered, and almost two weeks later, he can feel the pressure on his foot bones from his backpack and constant skating. He expected to skate 30 to 60 miles each day, but soon realized 15 to 30 is more feasible.
For Markman, the public attention has been a mixed experience, but he is overjoyed to see the Boards for Brazil fundraiser shoot past its goal.
Schaefer has supported Markman the whole way, even visiting him in Holbrook, Arizona, and bringing more supplies.