TITLE: A First Run in Portland AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: December 03, 2005 6:52 PM DESC: A new sort of drawbridge and an interesting warning sign made my first run in Portland more than routine. ----- BODY: For many, many years, my hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana, was the largest city in the United States not located on a navigable waterway. (Phoenix has that distinction now, and some other cities in the Sun Belt have probably passed Indianapolis by now, too.) My family didn't travel much when I was growing up, so I have relatively exposure to life on the water. This accounts for some of my enjoyment of water when I run at conferences. Running in Vancouver is still among my favorites. I'm in Portland today for the OOPSLA 2006 fall planning meeting. This is my first trip to Portland, and naturally the first thing I did this morning was to hit the road for a pre-dawn run. 5:00 AM here is 7:00 AM on my body's clock, so that was easier than it sounds. Portland is defined in large part by its water source, the Willamette River, which divides the town northeast and southwest. With just one day in town, I kept my route simple, running from my hotel on the northeast side of the river to a 3-mile loop up and down a riverwalk in the downtown area. It was a nice mix of scenic riverwalk and the sort of gritty area that I seem to experience in water towns. I had a couple of fun new experiences this morning... I enjoyed my morning run so much that I may skip the conference committee dinner this evening and try a different route... More on the conference itself tomorrow. -----