Back on the streets of Fargo this morning, my mind drifted off to far away places. In particular, I thought a lot about Portland, a city with a cosmopolitan mix of urban and industrial appeal. And terrific paths and trails for the recreation-minded.
Looking out my hotel room toward the hills west of downtown, an old large bridge caught my eye. From the moment I saw the bridge, towering above the roadway below, it was clear: I had to run there and see what the view was like from the top of the span.
Portland has no shortage of these manmade spans, helping it earn the nickname “city of bridges.” Most of them are pedestrian friendly, and I found my way over top many of those crossing the Williamette River. An old steel bridge was the first crossed off my list, and as I climbed the massive structure, I realized there was a lower bridge connecting Waterfront Park on the river’s west side to the paths on the east side.
Then my imagination kicked in. There are so many places and ways to run in Portland it becomes quickly apparent why its a top running city. They’ve managed to find a way for pedestrians, athletes, commuters and public transit to peacefully co-exist. You can run for miles and miles on paved paths, or head off road to connect into network of nearly 150 miles of trails in the metropolitan area.
And after logging 8 miles this morning in town, I realized I’ve been able to run in some pretty great places. In fact, my favorite way to get to know a new town is to slip on a pair of running shoes and go explore. My only wish is that there was more time to explore Portland.