Portland Walkabout


Team Run Smart was gathering on a Wednesday in Portland Oregon to do some brain storming. I enjoy these meetings. I enjoy every team member. It is not just the pros. It is the professionals from Freighliner and ATBS as well. All of us have different strengths that we bring to the team. As with all high functioning teams the sum is greater than its parts.


These trips are highly structured. I get why this is. Many of our executives do a ton of planes and hotels. They can travel as much as truckers. Many of them fly out late Sunday night and have 3 days of structured meetings and fly back home on Friday. A lot of America’s most productive workers spend time away from home. It is not just us professional drivers.


Many of these younger traveling workers are trying to minimize time spent away from their families. They have yonnger kids at home. This week, I chose to sacrifice production and take a well deserved day off. I could have squeezed in a thousand miles and left on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Instead I chose a flight that left Tuesday morning and decided to take an extra day off at home and then a day off in Portland. I had dinner with a friend on Tuesday night and had full intentions or walking around and enjoying a pint or 2 at some of Portland’s micro breweries. Turns out that by 20:00 Portland time, I am ready for bed.


The other side of that is by 05:00 Portland time, I was out running on Portland’s waterfront. It is easy to loop around on Portland’s many bridges. After a good breakfast, I started my Portland walkabout. I walked the waterfront and over to the west side of town. This included walking through a “campsite” about a block off the river. Then I walked over to the famous Portland Running Company store. I picked up a shirt for myself and Rox. Then I had lunch on the other side of the bridge.


After lunch, I started heading back to the hotel. On the way back over the bridge, a loudspeaker said that the bridge would be going up. That will put a little hustle into the walkabout. The draw bridges in where I live – hinge up. This bridge in Portland actually lifted. The center section of the bridge is raised. It is interesting how the same issue – getting tall boats under low bridges – is solved in different ways. They both work.


By the time, I arrived at the hotel Jimmy’s plane had landed. Since, I had some difficulty locating the hotel on foot – well I was doing a walkabout, so no big deal – I decided to walk back towards the train stop and meet Jimmy. We walked back to the motel together. Then I showed him a nice little place that I found near the hotel. Shortly, after the others started joining us at the little place that I had discovered. See, I was doing more than just a walkabout. I was advance scouting. Still, I enjoyed my day off on the road.

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Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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