Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pork in the Park - Salisbury, Md

  • OVERALL ... 22nd out of 116 Teams 
  • CHICKEN ... 36th
  • RIBS ... 39th
  • PORK ... 20th
  • BRISKET ... 38th
Well it was a weekend of firsts.  Not 1st place in any category or 1st overall, but some 1st's none the less.  This weekend was the first official competition for the newly merged team, the first competition of the year and maybe more importantly the first journey in the Hoopty.

For those of you who aren't aware of our traveling arrangements, allow me to explain.  At the end of last season I purchased a  1977 Coachman Leprechaun class C motorhome.  It is 24' long and really earns the title of a Hoopty.  This is not a motorhome you take the family on vacation in, it is a bbq competition machine and is perfect for that purpose and not much else.  After months of wrenching on the engine Spice Bob had her running like a champ, or at least we hoped so.

Bob and me would be making the trip to Salisbury, as Spice Bob had a prior commitment he had to attend to.  So we set out on our journey on Thursday at high noon, with crossed fingers and holding our breath.  The old girl ran like a champ and we were really stoked about getting there and setting up...until.  That's right, it couldn't be an adventure without a little drama. With about 40 miles left in the journey she began to cough, spit and lose power, after riding the shoulder on Rt. 13 for a short distance she regained her composure and got back up to speed.  After a second incident a few miles away we pulled over into a parking lot and looked under the hood and as if she knew we weren't happy she straightened up and we continued without further incident.

We pulled into the park looking like the Clampets, got into our site and setup camp.  After setting up we enjoyed some of my homemade chili and started to relax.  We spent the rest of the night socializing and having a few beers with Eric from the "Sun of a Beach" bbq team as well as Brian and Megan from "Finn's Finest BBQ", who are some of the great people you meet and hang out with at these competitions.

Friday was your normal competition Friday, finish setting up, meat inspections, and meat preparation.  Bob went to the cooks meeting while I built the turn-in boxes.  After a little socializing, it was off to bed as we had to get up and start cooking at 3am.  The cooking process went fairly well, with few problems and we built what we thought were nice looking entries.  All of the meat tasted good and we left it in the hands of the judges.  After the last turn-in we took our walk around the competitors area offering teams a sample of our "Good Luck Cherries" that have been soaking in grain alcohol since before Christmas.

The awards ceremony came and ended without us getting a call to the stage, but after going over the judges scores we were optimistic that we will be bringing home some hardware in the upcoming competitions.  With the massive thunder storm and winds that hit the area at the end of the awards ceremony we decided that we would stay put for another night and we were rocked hard by Mother Nature.

The wind made the ride home on Sunday exciting but the hoopty and team arrived home without incident, only to relax for a moment, because we have back to back weekends in May.....Stay tuned.

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