TITLE: On the Roads Back in Portland AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: March 12, 2008 4:32 PM DESC: ----- BODY: SIGCSE 2008 logo With the exception of my annual visit to Carefree for ChiliPLoP, I don't often get a chance to return to a city for another conference. This year brings a pleasant return to Portland for SIGCSE 2008. OOPSLA'06 was in Portland, and I wrote up a little bit about running in Portland as part of my first visit to town. Because I was on the conference planning committee that year, I made three trips to the city, stayed in the same hotel three times, and ran several of the same routes three times. The convention center is right in town, which makes it hard to get to any nice parks to run, but Portland has a 3-mile loop alongside the Willamette River that provides a decent run. This time, I am on my own dime and trying to save a little money by staying at a budget motel about 3.5 miles from the convention center. That meant figuring out bus routes and bus stops for the ride between the two -- no small feat for a guy who has never lived in a place where public transportation is common! It also meant planning some new runs, including a route back to the waterfront. I arrived in town early enough yesterday to figure out the buses (I think) and still have time for an exploratory run. I ran toward the river, and then toward the convention center, until I knew the lay of the land well enough. The result was 4.5 miles of urban running in neighborhoods I'd never seen. This morning, used what I learned to get to the river, where I ran my first lap through the Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Eastbank Esplanade since October 2006. I ended up with about 8 miles under my belt, and a strong desire to return Saturday evening for three laps and what will be a 14-miler -- what would be my longest run since the Marine Corps Marathon. Let's see how I feel in a couple of days... The rest of this week I am at SIGCSE, and I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and colleagues and to talking CS for a few days. Then on Sunday, four of us fly to Phoenix for ChiliPLoP and some intense work. This is a long time to be away from home and to miss my family, but the ideas should keep me busy. -----