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The First Tour Stop - Poland Notes

March 31, 2008
Well, our visit to Rio Rancho is complete, and we have learned a lot about what this tour is going to take: lots of hard work. We are both sleeping very well!

We had three beautiful sunny days here, with strong winds on two of the days. At an altitude of 5,000 plus feet, the sun is strong so we both used lots of sun screen, but we'll still get home with nice starts on tans on our arms and faces. This area is also VERY windy. Two of the three days here had winds at 20-30 MPH with gusts above that. We had lots of challenges keeping our coupons and information brochures on our tables rather than being blown to who knows where.

Unexpectedly, it also proved a challenge to grill on our very nice grill because the winds basically blew the heat away. But thanks to determination and lots of help, the job got done.

Ernie got his first round of applause for his grilling demonstration at his Saturday afternoon session!

Equipment in our trailer worked well. We passed inspections from the local fire marshal, a state propane inspector, and two local county food inspectors. We got a few suggestions on things to change in the trailer, so we'll be taking it back to Tennessee for a few tweaks between tour stops.

Members of 20-25 of the 60 cook teams competing here came and saw us and toured our new trailer with mostly very positive comments. As always, one of our favorite parts of being around competitive BBQ is interacting with the teams. It is just something we enjoy a great deal and a big part of why we are on this tour.

We now have a much better handle on the amount of meats we need to prepare for our sampling sessions. Believe it or not, we gave out more than 1,000 samples of food during the entire weekend! And everyone was very appreciative to KCBS for the experience....which gave us lots of encouragement and energy.

The real purpose of our tour is to build knowledge about the Kansas City BBQ Society rather than to teach people about competitive BBQ. In Ernie’s demonstrations he tells people they can be better backyard grillers by taking a few tips from the professional BBQ cooks. He also encourages everyone to visit the KCBS web site, where they can even join the society, look for more contests to attend, or even become a certified judge. (It doesn’t pay, but you get to taste lots of good BBQ, and meet lots of great people!)

We start driving back to Tennessee Sunday morning and will get back on Tuesday afternoon. One advantage of all the uphill driving we did coming out here is that we should have lots of downhill on the way home.

Dozens of people are honking and waving at us on the road. If you're a KCBS member, honk three times so we know you area true fan!!!

Ernie and Linda
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