There is something to be said when a 3.5 hour drive is a close competition.
This past weekend we competed in Quincy IL considering the previous drives I was actually looking forward to it. I was excited not to have to rush as much getting there. After all it was going to be hot and humid and the RV was pretty comfortably temped while driving.
We left town at about 9 and only had to make a few stops before we were officially on the road. I still needed to pick up butter, chicken breasts and apple juice from the store. As well as stuff to eat for dinner. Then needed to fill up on gas and dump our waste water tanks.
So after getting the apple juice, chicken breasts and stuff for dinner we started driving out of town. It turns out we were driving with a shadow. That shadow just so happened to have a badge and a light bar. So we had an unplanned delay. I instantly felt defensive because I knew we hadn’t broken any laws. The only thing I could think of, from reading about other team’s experiences, is this officer felt that I probably wasn’t properly licensed to drive the RV while towing my trailer.
As the officer walked up I had my license out and window down, letting the cool air out. He proceeded to tel me that he didn’t need that and that he just wanted to take a look at my cooker.
Are you freaking kidding me?
Well to say the least I was a bit relieved and kinda felt a bit important. He even knew who we were and said that he and a friend were going to compete in Danville. It never gets old answering questions, even if it puts us a little behind schedule.
So after getting back in my son thought it was hilarious and was taking pictures through the rear view camera and mirrors. In case you couldn’t tell he can be quite the funny guy.
We get to the gas station fill up and go to dump our tanks. As I am getting ready to unscrew the drain cap, I remember that I was having a hard time pushing the black tanks closure in all the way. I SLOOOOWLY start to unscrew the cap and notice immediately I was about to have a major problem. Yup brown liquid started to flow out.
I immediately closed the cap as the thought of a horrible movie scene entered my mind.
Rethinking my strategy I attacked the problem with the skill of a ninja. No major spills and the tanks got emptied.
This drive was pretty much a straight shot, but boring as can be. I am pretty sure no one lives between Jacksonville and Quincy IL. They just put seeds in the ground and leave. Heck they don’t even have decent cell service, much less radio stations.
As we arrived we got set up and tried to get motivated to begin working. Even the A/C wasn’t motivated.
After a late cook’s meeting and a much appreciated provided dinner, the prep work got done. I even enjoyed a bit of a nap before firing up the cooker.
The next morning things were going smooth until I trimmed the ribs. It was then that I remembered that I had forgot something from the store. Maybe you caught it, if you said butter you’d be correct.
Good thing competition teams are generous, Peter Wright with Lion Bout The Que, gave us a tub to use. Now I just wish I could have remembered to have injected my chicken.
The rest of the cook went alright, but it seemed like I just couldn’t get into my groove. It was like I was 5 minutes behind and not real fluid. It may have just been the heat taking a toll on me. Whatever the case I didn’t feel like it was going to be my best cook.
After the last turn in we got started immediately on preparing to leave and were done in about 1 hour. What a relief. That gave me about a 1 hour break to rest. I figured I’d get up around 3:30 and head over for the 4:00 awards.
Well apparently we didn’t get the message that they were starting awards at 3:15 instead. I probably should have figured something was up as we were the only team outside at around 3:30.
We made it to awards in time to hear the 4th place overall winner announced.
Kinda disappointing to not be a part of it, even though our name wasn’t called.
In the end we didn’t do as good as we hoped, but we didn’t do bad either.
Out of 25 teams we finished
12th in chicken – pretty sure had I injected we would have gotten a call
14th in ribs – 3 slabs, 3 different stages of doneness, again
19th in pork – scratching my head on this one, thought we had a pretty good product
13th in brisket – didn’t dip my slices before boxing.
15th overall – just goes to show that I need to think about everything I am doing.
I looked over the scores and was frustrated with myself because I saw that had I had more of an average cook we could have easily received a call or two.