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FACT: Learning from friends, family and at competitions is the best way to improve cooking skills    
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From the "Villes" to the "Burgs"

June 17, 2008
Finished our long day in Tryon, NC on Saturday night. Tuffy Stone and Cool Smoke took home the Grand Championship Trophy at Tryon. This was the 15th year for the event and the awards ceremony included some volunteer recognition which was very special. Being on the executive committee for the Rock'n Ribs Festival in Springfield, I know what is involved with putting on an event and it takes great volunteers year after year to keep things running smoothly and keeping everybody or most everybody happy. Tryon was as classy as a bbq event could be and I can see why all the teams wanted to do their best! 

Here is their website:http://www.blueridgebbqfestival.com/.

Chris and I could not pass up the "Oink if you like BBQ" shirts and I thought we would wet our pants when we heard a team get a call - "Too Bad You're my Cousin". That was the best team name that we heard all weekend.

We hung around to see the fireworks on Saturday and got to meet some neat people - the best part of bbq festivals - especially a couple of wonderful ladies who listened to my whole demonstration and hung around to visit afterwards. Visit... argue... agree to disagree... any way you cut it, they are now on our email list and we look forward to keeping in touch. The music was great and the craft area showcased some fantastic artists. The trophies for the teams were personalized tiles and one of a kind chicken, pig, cow statues with bowls for the grand and reserve grand champions. While I am sure that the money won is appreciated, the trophies will last much longer and will have a special place of honor for quite a while.

On our drive, I could not help driving by the Bristol NASCAR track. It looks as small in person as it does on the TV. I was thinking of my NASCAR buddy Gary who tapes every race and will have to email him a picture when I figure out how to hook the camera to the computer... maybe Gary will take my word for it.

We stopped in Roanoke last night and latched onto the only washer and dryer in the joint. We should have taken a picture - we pulled out our lawn chairs and Chris worked on crocheting a blanket for someone special for Christmas and I caught up on some emails in the breezeway of the hotel and even caught a few minutes in the pool. On our way to D.C., we had one of those "headturning" moments when we saw a sign for Hungry Mother State Park . Interesting story behind an interesting name - you will have to check it out yourself. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/hun.shtml

We stopped for gas, and while we have seen over $4 per gal. we have not had to fork over that much yet, and I Rain-x'd my side of the windshield and got caught up visiting with someone about the trailer and that we were a long way from KC. After explaining KCBS and hopefully getting another member, I forgot to treat Chris' side of the windshield and sure enough, the heavens opened up about 10 miles down the road and followed us all the way into Manassas. She didn't care too much as she was busy with the blanket again.

We seem to get stopped alot for the trailer by all the "great" cooks that are out there. Just another invitation for me to talk about KCBS and have them put their BBQ where their mouth is.

It looks like we will have a day or so to sightsee in the DC area which I have never been to and am really looking forward to. We'll update you soon!

Mike & Chris

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