The best way to describe Matthew and Cody's trip to Drupalcon Portland would be "cross-country adventure". To say this trip was just a another tech conference would be doing it a great injustice.
- 5000+ miles!
- 70+ hours of driving!
- Giant trees!
You can see the extent of their travels here:
The first leg of the trip was by-far the most boring. Chicago to Denver involves crossing the country's Great Plains which are, in fact, plain. The only things worth documenting were the signs when entering/leaving states:
After spending the night in Denver, they woke up and drove all of the way to a town within California, but near Reno, NV. This leg of the trip was the most diverse. After an entire day of nothing but corn fields, this was a major change of pace. This is where they got their first taste of mountain driving as well as their first tunnel. This was the first of many tunnels they encountered on their travels:
After driving through the Rocky Mountains, Salt Lake City, and the salt flats in Nevada, Matthew and Cody stopped in Reno for a quick break. Neither one of them emerged a millionaire, but they did get this sweet video of them driving underneath the Reno sign. They recorded it because it is sort of like a tunnel:
The next day or two was spent in Northern California taking in all that part of the country has to offer. Beautifule lakes, mountains, and wildlife were among some of the things observed up there. Here are a few pictures of their travels in that part of the country:
The trip from northern California to Portland was by-far the most dangerous. Our courageous travelers decided to stay off the main roads and head straight north through the heart of Northern California's wilderness. This involved a long stretch of travel with no possibility of asking for directions, stopping for gas, or using their cell phones. The only reason they were able to find this route was because some residents in the quaint little town of Happy Camp, CA showed it to them. It was on this leg of the journey they encountered a bear. It only ran across the road in front of them, but it was enough to make them not want to get out of the car.
... And then, finally, Drupalcon Portland!
In-case you have never been to a Drupalcon, here is what you need to know. These are the largest events held by the Drupal community enabling developers, business owners, and other people or companies interested in Drupal to gather, learn, and network. The event usually last 3-5 days and consists of various presentations by people from within the Drupal community. Topics range from how-to-use Drupal to marketing and even case studies of large or interesting projects. It's at these events you can meet the people who actually build and improve this wonderful software, and if you choose, you can even get involved yourself. One of the opportunities to contribute to Drupal at a Drupalcon would be in what are called "code sprints". Here, developers gather to discuss and actively work on actual Drupal development. This could be improving/porting modules or even working on Drupal core.
Matthew and Cody spent an informative and rainy week at Drupalcon Portland. It's always an amazing opportunity connecting, in-person, with people you often only work with online. Excitement over Drupal 8 is certainly rising and there were many talks about the changes we can expect to see.
Other notes on the city of Portland, OR:
- It really does rain quite a bit.
- Visiting VooDoo Doughnuts is a must. They are starting to expand throughout the rest of the country now, but the original is in Portland. Open 24/7, you can wait in a horrendously long line whenever is convenient for you! Just make sure to reward yourself with a maple-bacon long john.
- It seriously rains.... A LOT.
- If you are from Chicago and you know what good pizza is: Good Neighbor Pizzeria is where you want to eat.
- Skateboarders must visit the Burnside: