Friday, August 13, 2010

Dunn Deal: Postcards from the Battle on the Border

Lumberjack student-athletes in Canada.
Our second day in Canada was a very busy day. It included an early morning with a late night, and a 9 hour excursion throughout the middle of the day. Yesterday everyone was up around 7:45 a.m. to be able to eat the breakfast served in the hotel. Breakfast consisted of a very nice layout of fruit, bacon, sausage, pancakes, breakfast potatoes, and even had a station to make omlets and toast. Needless to say, the breakfast was very good.

After breakfast, we all went back to our room to get ready to travel to Lake Louise in Banff. We loaded the bus and left the hotel at 8:45 a.m. There were many cool things to see during the bus ride. I snapped a picture of the ski jumps used in the 1988 Calgary Olympics. We also stopped at a smaller body of water surrounded by a huge mountain range to take pictures of a preview of Lake Louise.

As we got closer to the lake we were able to see a deer as well as a wolf off to the side of us amongst the trees. We arrived at the lake, and I expected it to be nice, but nice would have been an understatement. This lake was beautiful! The water was a nice blue color and you could see through in some areas. We all stood around and were blown away by how amazing this lake really was.

Then Coach Will (Hensley) decided he wanted to ride a canoe and started a trend. Riding with him was Platt, and Stallon. The guys also filled up two other canoes. In the second one was Austin, Shane, and Julian. With Austin being the outdoorsman that he is it made for a great experience, as well as easier for the other two because he had done something like that before.

The other canoe had Lu, Gabe, and Danny. Now these were the guys that had a tough time! They actually bumped into another canoe before fully taking off from the dock, but they ultimately got the hang of it. The rest of us began walking the trail that wrapped around the lake.  The trail was filled with bugs which made it very clear that it was their trail we were traveling on. Other than that, the trail was nice and gave us a better look at the lake and the snow capped mountains! We thought that we could make it to the end if the trail, that is until it started raining. This made us turn around and quickly return to the hotel there on the lake.

We walked around a little more and took some more pictures while waiting for the other guys. It was very interesting and funny to see a lot of the people pointing and whispering about us trying to figure out who we were! After leaving here we made one more stop in Banff before going to Mickey D's to grab something to eat. Despite the rain at the lake and the hail at the second stop, it was still a fun experience and worthwhile. At this point, it is now around 4 o'clock when we are finally headed back to the hotel. We arrived back at the hotel at 5:30, scheduled to leave for the arena at 6:15 p.m.. Our game against Concordia was to begin at 8 p.m.

Ironically, the head coach of Concordia was the father of former NAU basketball player Steve Sir. Game time finally arrived and we came out with a lot of intensity despite traveling all day for the second day in a row. We played hard all the way through and with pretty good execution of offense and defense. We were able to come away with the win 117-66. So if there's a myth of not being able travel the day of the game and perform well, I think we erased that these past two nights. We arrived back at our hotel around 10:15pm. After a quick shower, Gabe, Lu, Julian, Josh, Gaellan, D. Jones, and I all decided to take a walk around downtown and see what was going on. We quickly found out that there wasn't too much to do late on a Thursday night downtown, so we split up and Gaellan, Gabe, Lu, and I ended at the same pizza parlor that I ate at the night before. Once again there were interesting people just hanging out there again. Maybe that's a normal thing? This time I tried the teryaki wings which were really good. The man who works there, whose names seems to slip my memory right now, showed us great hospitality. Well tomorrow I think all of us are going to get some well needed rest before we do anything! We have a big game against the hometown team Calgary and I think everyone wants to be rested and ready for them! I'll check back in with y'all soon! Until my next update.. Stay tuned!

Michael Dunn joined the Northern Arizona men’s basketball program in 2009 after starring at Chandler High School. He was a three-year letter winner that helped his team beat top-seeded Highland in the 5A State Championships, the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 in state history. He saw action in seven games for the Lumberjacks in his first season.

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