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BBQ Tour Stop #17: Salem, OR

September 10, 2010

I singlehandedly saved the Oregon State Fair…

But first let me tell you how we got there. After leaving Worland, we set out Northward towards Montana and had planned on spending the night in Missoula but it ended up being a bit farther than I had thought so instead we stopped in Butte. Coming from the “browns” of Wyoming, the “greens” of Montana were a nice change of scenery. Heading through Washington the next day, Chris and I were surprised that central Washington had so much farmland. It really reminded us of our time growing up in Kansas as we had expected mountains and trees instead of the wheat fields that we drove through. As we drove along I-84 which paralleled the Hood River, the mountains and trees finally showed up as we were heading into Portland.

We loaded into the State Fair and were placed in a quiet secluded area where there was a PNWBA BBQ cook-off scheduled for the weekend. It was great to meet the teams, many of which were also KCBS members. The Wild Pineapple team was placed right behind us and we were quite surprised when he pulled in a Good-One trailer smoker. When I told him that Oregon was the last place I would expect to see a Good-One, since it is manufactured in Kansas and better known in the Midwest, he told me the history and how much he loves how it cooks.  Smokey’s BBQ had a neat pirate set-up and the whole family participated, even the kids with their get-ups. We also got to visit with Lynnae of Sugar’s BBQ who won a GC this year and was hoping for a Jack draw. Looking online recently, I saw that her bung did get drawn and we look forward to seeing her again in the holler of Lynchburg.

On Friday, I spent some time visiting with the Grill Guys that do a radio show in the Cleveland market and Saturday I did an interview with Mr. BBQ for a local AM show there in Oregon.

Since we were set up under the trees in a nice shady area, people that visited the trailer had a nice experience without having to sit under the direct sunlight. Redwood Creek Wine also came out and sampled wine which was a nice treat for the locals.

Ok, now to how I saved the Oregon State Fair. The organizers used dumpsters for their ash buckets and a cart for trash. Somebody… I won’t mention any names… threw their trash into the dumpster which would have made sense any other time at the end of the evening after most of the teams had already loaded out. Chris and I were waiting for 10pm when we could pull out and were all loaded up as Chris noticed a flame in the windows of a building across the street. When she looked where the flames were coming from, the dumpster was fully engulfed with flames shooting probably 6-8 feet up towards the sky. She grabbed the fire extinguisher and threw it to me to be the hero of the day. Add firefighter to my list of duties as I distinguished the fire well before the police and big fire truck showed up. Yes, I saved the Oregon State Fair. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

-Mike (and Chris) Peters

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