Sunday, May 4, 2008

Lansing, Kansas: Grand Champs!

Behind the strength of two first place calls and two more top tens, we are proud to report another successful Dodge County Smokers finish this weekend with a Grand Championship in Lansing, KS!

Back in January Chris won a free entry to the Brew, Blues & BarBQ event in Lansing at the KCBS awards banquet. It worked out well, as Chris, Jenny and Emily had just bought a new home and moved to an acreage about 5 miles south of town. In addition to being close to home, it was going to be nice cooking in a contest with mild spring weather. Well, we didn't get the weather we had hoped for.

Our tent was up for all of about 5 minutes when a gust of wind whipped up and snapped a leg. We didn't even have sidewalls up, coolers unloaded or anything else unpacked. Chris and I spent much of the next 2 hours or so standing around debating how to set up our tent, where to put the cooker and how to anchor everything down. I felt like we were at our first contest again...not knowing what to do or how to do it.

After we finally got everything unloaded, set up and situated, it felt like we were working from behind the rest of the night. We eventually got caught up on everything and the wind died down around 8 or 9pm. I thought it was going to be an OK night. After the family left Friday night we decided to take a walk and spent a few minutes at the Squeal of Approval camp. Around midnight it was time to head back to home base and just as we made our way into our crippled temporary abode, a gust of wind hit almost as if it was set on a timer for 12 am...and it kept blowing through the night and into Saturday morning with out a break.

I hate the wind. I can deal with rain, the cold and even excessive heat...but wind just turns an otherwise good day into a real drag. Wind sucks. Or blows...whatever.

So other than the damn wind, we had a great time. Turn ins went well and we really only pushed it to the time limit on our last box. Our brisket slices were too wide to fit in the box...adjustments were made, last minute touches applied and Chris hit the road with what turned out to be our second top call of the day and the entry that propelled us into the #1 spot overall for the day.

Over the years I *may* have developed just a few little quirks when it comes to our routine. If something works...why mess with it? I guess I just thought maybe no one would notice. Well, my dirty little secret was thrust into the open by Chris's wife, Jenny. In addition to being just a tad embarrassed (but not really...), I was more afraid that the mystical powers that are somehow harnessed by my tendencies would be erased if and when I acknowledged them. As my sister's boyfriend, "Braq," pointed out, they all knew...but you don't talk to the pitcher in the middle of a no hitter.

So when we sat down at the awards and Jenny
invited Jackson to leave my lap and come sit with her...I had to refuse. Hey...that kid has brought me a lot of luck over the past year! So there it was...and Jenny called me out on it! Right in the middle of the awards, no less! But in the end, it all ended up the way we wanted...Though Jenny may have opened up a can of worms...she's going to have to bust my chops at every awards ceremony now. Something tells me that won't be a problem!

The Great American BBQ Invitational and Open are up next. Memorial Day Weekend. Should be a blast!

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