Tilley, baby.  Tilley.

So last weekend was our first sojourn south of the border this year into the wilds of North Carolina, down to a new comp for us, the Tilley Harley Davidson event in Salisbury, NC. 
We’d been looking forward to this for a long time. We love all of our NC bretheren, and hadn’t seen them for a long long time.
Luke drove down on Thursday morning, then did some work in Charlotte. Back in time for dinner with two of his favorite BBQ people Rick Hamilton from Hambones by the Fire, and the brother from another mother Jerry Stephenson from Redneck Scientific. Much fun was had by all at dinner, including a fascinating discussion with the server at the wing restaurant on the issue of males taking care of their feet via pedicure. Turns out…she’s all for it.
The night was spent catching up with the NC crew, including Smokin’ Skullies, Muttley Crew, and Sauced. Also made some new friends as well, Roger and Marsha Wise from Pickin Porkers, Swine and Shine, and Andrew Rasmussen from The Smokehouse Mafia.
The night ended in a debate on moonshine, (VA wins) empty promises (IHOP at 8:15?) and cold chicken wings (delicious.). Morning came quick.
Jerry and Luke headed to the Dunkin’ Donuts, where a misorder was made of a chicken biscuit. This would hurt later. On to the meat prep and such, and getting the site ready. Luke would be alone until later that night. Kim was flying down that evening for the event.

Roger and Marsha put on THE BEST POT LUCK THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN. Pretty much the entire comp was there. People on all sides, and enough food to feed 200. And everything was delicious. Before we continue, there’s a bit of a side story that needs some tellin’—
Bubba and Jerry were cookin’ a low country boil for the judges that night for dinner. They cooked A LOT of food. Corn, potatoes, shrimp, sausage… we also were blessed to have it at the pot luck. Luke went over to check on em while they were making it, and found Roxanne, Jerry’s awesome sister, leaving to go to Lowes to get concrete blocks. 
Luke didn’t think nothing about it. He went back to his cooksite, finished his meat prep, and then ventured on back over. The concrete blocks were to hold up the huge pot, which was too heavy for the burner. Worked like magic, and the food was amazing. There’s a reason they call them Redneck Scientific…

Then it was the long wait. The fantastic and beautiful Stacey Minder was kind enough to pick Kim up from the Charlotte airport, brave three hours of mindblowing traffic, and get our girl to the cooksite. 

The cook was good, but not great. The gator got away from us again. But we thought the brisket was probably one of the best that we had cooked all year.
We had never cooked at a biker event before. We were really impressed with the job that Gary and his crew did with his event. And such a great acknowledgement of our veterans, and those that have died in combat. It was tremendous to be a part of.
We had our highest brisket finish of the year, a very awesome 2nd place. Everything was else was upper middle, and we finished with a very solid 6th overall. Huge congrats to Smoke on This for the GC, and Checkered Pig for the RGC, and Redneck Scientific for successfully defending their MABA Cup of North Carolina .
Next up…leg one of the western run to the American Royal in Kansas City.