Beautiful Shelby, NC. We’ve heard legendary stories of the weather. We were excited to head south into NC again. Luke had the Little General with him Thursday on this trip, and they were looking for adventure. It started early…
“Which way you wanna go?”, asked Kim.
“I dunno. I’m so tired of I-81 and I-95. Same stuff all the time.”
“Is there another way?”
“Google maps always says to take Rte 29, but I’m unfamiliar with the road,” Luke replied.
“Up to you. You are driving.”
“Screw it,” he said. “Let’s do it and try something new.
Rte 29 turned out to be a revelation. A little hilly, but mostly two lane highway the whole way. They slept just outside of Lynchburg, VA, and they got up early and hit the road toward Shelby.
The weather had looked ominous all week, but showed signs of improving. It would probably rain all day Saturday, but Friday could be fine.
So much for that. Just south of Charlotte, things turned to shit. Cold, rain, and fog.
They got to the fairgrounds and found their spot, next to friends from Virginia, 270 Smokers. Fun with Stephanie and Terry all weekend!
Also in the house this weekend was Mike Lindley from Smokin’ Mo’s. We hadn’t seen him for a while, so that would be fun.
Setup on Friday was a bit crazy though. Kim would be cooking four ancillary categories on Friday night, and they would all be judged on site. Luckily, Beverly and Greg Gordon, Rick Back, and Karen York would be helping out. Then, Luke would be presenting each dish to the judges.
“You got any stories lined up?” Kim asked.
All she got back in return was a smile.
Luckily, the weather had turned for the better and it wouldn’t really rain much the next two days.
The categories that Kim cooked were Stew/Gumbo, Vegetable, Meat, and Seafood. She would be preparing beef Provençal stew, stuffed mushrooms, California tri tip, and the famed lobster bacon mac n cheese.
Each turn in went well, and Luke told some stories for each dish. Basically, the rest of the gang had to stay out of sight because they were laughing so hard.
Now it was in to the BBQ. Everything went smooth throughout the night and the next day. The two hit their marks and had a lot of fun, especially with 270 Smokers and their new friend Carolina Smokin’ John’s. The occasional visit from Smokin’ Mo’s also provided a lot of fun. We also got to spend some time with our good friends Smokin’ Hoggz from Massachusetts and the Clegg’s with Rhode Hog BBQ.
Awards came, and the ancillary contests were first. The Little General was on point…grabbing a first place in seafood and three second places in the other categories.
On to the barbecue. We got a nice 7th place pork call, but that was it. A little discouraging given the food we turned in. But two friends had big days, with that mustachioed demon Smokin Mo’s winning GC and 270 Smokers winning RGC. With one call, we weren’t looking forward to getting the score sheet. But we were pleasantly surprised to finish 7th overall.
Only one contest left…two weeks later down in Georgia. We beat feet out of Shelby and headed south to Spartanburg, SC, and dropped the creeper of with our buddy Todd from Smokin’ Buttheads. He would take good care of her until we got back down to her in two weeks.