Gearing Up For 2009 Great American BBQ TourMarch 10, 2009 Ok… the official 2009 Great American BBQ Tour countdown began when we returned home last November from the 20th Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg. But now that we are getting closer to B-Day (BBQ day), the excitement is coming to a boil.
We have included just a bit of history on what we have been up to during our break. Chris decided to stay at home and finish unpacking the house that we moved into a couple of years ago. Her prior job did not allow her the time to get it all done. She has been organizing so I can’t seem to find things. Our son graduated High School and moved out of the house. He is seriously considering going into the National Guard full time – he is currently in the reserves. Chris gutted his room, repainted everything, shampooed the carpet and made it into a really nice guest bedroom for family. The bank that I left in June was gracious enough to find a place for me even with the down economy. Our tellers and I hit our numbers and made the bank a great place to come to work. I am still getting used to wearing “long” pants again and my flip flops really miss me!
All of the kids came home for the holidays. Instead of a traditional meal, we grilled steaks on the deck! We went down to Nashville in January for the KCBS banquet and got to see many of the friends that we made along the BBQ Tour last year. The awards ceremony was nice as this was the first one that we have attended. It was nice for the teams to get recognized for all their hard work throughout the year.
We met Terry Welch who kicked off the new BBQ World magazine with his wife, Janet. We ran into them in Lynchburg also. The premier edition had a nice article about the BBQ Tour in it and some nice pictures from the road. They even have a centerfold in the magazine… you will have to purchase one to see what I am talking about!
We spent some time working on the schedule, maybe not as hard as Veronica with MMA did, but we assisted with the logistics of time getting from point A to point B. The new schedule is here on the KCBS website so you can follow along the way.
I did a presentation for our local Rotary Club in conjunction with the promotions of our local BBQ event – Rock’n Ribs. I found some interesting numbers when I did the presentation. We put on over 15,000 miles on the truck and spent close to 170 hours driving from June to October. This year we anticipate driving over 25,000 miles and spending over 400 hours in the truck going from event to event. Lucky for us, the KCBS Board of Directors invested in a new truck for the 2009 Tour. That will make the miles go by that much easier!
The last weeks before our first event in Little Rock, The Presidential Center USA Barbecue Championship, were pretty busy. We took the trailer to Cookeville to get re-wrapped. Everyone should join us at an event along the Great American BBQ Tour route to check out the new layout. It has a really awesome looking design! We also took in our first Kooker’s Kare Winter Funfest in Kansas City and it was great to see the HUGE pile of food that was donated. We are in Nashville this week picking up the trailer and loading it down with product along with meeting with the National Partners for this year’s Tour.
Tabasco brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce and Weber Grill Creations will be joining us again this year and drum roll please… SCOTT Shop towels, Kingsford Competition Briquets and Tums are coming along with us too. I have a roll or two of the SCOTT Blue Shop Towels in my garage and always just used them on automotive stuff. I am anxious to see all the uses for them when we are at competitions and on the back deck when we grill. Since I have been eating healthier, I haven’t needed any antacids lately but I know that I will not be able to keep my self control around all the ribs, pork and brisket. When I over indulge, those Tums will come in handy.
Speaking of eating healthier, Chris has been working hard on me to eat better and take my herbs and vitamins. I am bound and determined to make that Wii Fit call me "overweight" instead of "obese" before we get to Little Rock. We went through pictures from last year and I must say… I sure liked my BBQ!!!
This year, we get to use a true smoker/grill for our demonstrations. Ace of Hearts Barbeque and Good-One Smokers is partnering up and providing the cookers for us to use on the tour. I am super excited about this one since I have known about these cookers for years and have been competing on a Good-One for the past four to five years.
We will be going to some new BBQ competitions this year and places that we have never visited. We are also lucky enough to return to some of the great places from last year. If you haven't seen the new tour list yet, please check it out in the tour section.
I am using a new email address this year, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Facebook to keep in touch with the friends that we meet along the road! We'll also be looking for helpers at events again this year so keep us in mind & drop us an email if you might be able to help us out at the events!
Mike (and Chris) Peters