All a board

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 01:56 PM.

He’s got all the necessities with him in the backpack, a Sawyer water treatment system, and a smartphone with enough charged batteries not to be an issue until maybe the long stretches of west Texas where it will be just him and the “Bustin Brooklyn” long board he leaned carefully, openly against a newly painted wall at Café Con Leche.

He’ll Google his route in advance, examining for railroad tracks, stop lights or other impediments, and fancy bed-and-breakfasts he can kick in if the innkeepers are kind. “I scout it out on my phone. I’ll know if I’m about to skateboard through a giant litter box.

“When I first started I got a little carried away,” he said, now paring down his daily grind by half to about 40-miles.“I’m trying to stop as many times as possible.”

He’s on a long board now, the earlier ones, the shorter, standard models, all victims of rough and wet terrain

“I’ve gone through quite a few boards. This is only the second long board I ever road,” he said. “There’s more give in the knee. The standard skate board is a lot shorter.”

Zygmontowicz’s placement of his skateboard in plain view led to interest in the young man by other Café Con Leche patrons. To experience their give-and-take is to understand the soul behind the quest.

For June Dosik, it was the young man’s Polish ancestry, reminiscent of her own background, and for a young couple, also from Michigan, it was talk of the scenic peaks of Colorado and Idaho that caught their attention. A husband and wife one table over overheard, and shared their ties to Kalamazoo, while a pair of graying ladies, drinking coffee at a nearby table, insisted on a photo with Zygmontowicz they could text to their grandchildren.

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