The July 4th fireworks display could be canceled in Jackson, but Dusty Campbell is still hoping for an Independence Day finale.
The 31-year-old physiotherapist from Salt Lake City sets out on a three-day, 285-mile trip from Jackson Hole to his hometown, and he does it all on six 110mm wheels. The inline skates will take Campbell to 8,000 feet high and 10,000 feet of descent, all in an effort to raise awareness and financially support the Wounded Warrior Project.
He leaves Town Square on Friday afternoon July 2 and hopes to enter Liberty Park on July 4.
“It will be hell,” he said. “But my suffering will not even be close to what these soldiers went through.”
Campbell first became interested in Wounded Warriors when he found his college friend sobbing in the back room of a party. This friend, a former Marine, was easily 6 feet tall and weighed 230. But PTSD wrinkled his body and prompted his friend, the physiotherapist, to act.
Through a campaign on the nonprofit organization’s website, Campbell is attempting to raise $ 100,000 for Wounded Warriors: veterans in need of physical and mental rehabilitation after serving in the US military. Donations made on Independence Day will be matched dollar for dollar up to $ 75,000 by the Blue Angels Foundation, according to the website.
A former hockey player, Campbell thought he would feel more comfortable skating than riding a bike, but he actually only tried a pair of blades in January. His ultramarathon friends told him he was crazy.
Luckily, he will have the support of his girlfriend, dad, and stepmom in a hunting van with snacks and a pair of rescue blades.
The route will take him through Alpine and Soda Springs, then Preston and Logan, where he’ll head to Highway 15 rather than taking the shortcut to Brigham City.
Fans who want to keep an eye on the feat can follow @pt_dustycampbell on Instagram.
He is hoping the Jacksonites will also come to downtown Jackson on Friday to kick him out, and maybe keep going for a bit. Weather permitting, he hopes to leave at noon.