SUU In View (Alumni Magazine - Spring 2002)
The day of October 4th began early for 40 loyal, dedicated alumni, friends and fans of SUU athletics. At 3 a.m., the devoted band boarded a bus in the parking lot across the street from the Centrum to begin what was to become a very memorable experience for all. The day dawned for the rest of the world as this sleepy-eyed group arrived at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas just at sunrise. There, six others joined the group.
They arrived in the "Gateway to the West" city only to discover the next mode of transportation-a bus-was broken down in the parking lot of the airport, with the nearest replacement vehicle some three hours away. Upon discovering the origin of the problem, the bus driver and "MacGyver" (in disguise), using only duct tape and a wire coat hanger, managed to repair the bus well enough to get to the hotel and check in, and then it was off to the Gateway Arch and the old train station for a short tour and dinner.
Friday morning, the bus headed north, alongside the Mississippi River to Hannibal, Mo., and the boyhood home of Mark Twain. Then it was on to Nauvoo, Ill., where the rest of the afternoon was spent touring the various exhibits and houses of this historic Mormon town.
Saturday morning was filled with breakfast at the motel, a short visit to the Temple site, a poignant stop at the river's edge on the "Trail of Hope," and a reflective visit to the Carthage Jail. The group boarded the bus once again for the half-hour ride to watch the Thunderbirds battle the Western Illinois Leathernecks, arriving just in time to form two lines at the entrance to the field to cheer our team on. The 'Birds battled valiantly and the final score hung in the balance until the last three minutes when the Leathernecks finally prevailed.
Thirty die-hard Thunderbird athletics fans flew to the San Francisco Bay area on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2001, to see SUU battle the St. Mary's Gaels of Moraga, Calif.
The first stop was for wonderful food at Spenger's Restaurant, a 110-year-old grotto world-famous for its fresh fish fare. Then, off to the game, for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Our team played hard and courageously, but lost 28-21.
During the weekend, part of the group toured Alcatraz Island while the other half walked along Fisherman's Wharf, rode cable cars and sampled some of the best seafood the West Coast has to offer. Some went on a sightseeing tour of San Francisco, including the threatened bridges. Finally, the group enjoyed an NFL game at 3-COM Stadium between the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions. It was very exciting, with fantastic seats, right down near the action! It was a spectacular weekend!