This was quite a weekend for me. A few months ago I decided that my rib cooking skills were unmatched! My local little favorite bar was going to be having a rib cooking contest. After several tasty beers and some coercion from my fellow barflies, I decided to sign up. It was quite a surprise the next time I rolled in there and saw my name on the list. Well this weekend was the weekend.
It started off on Saturday morning. I got myself a cooler of beer (the important stuff) and bought a pork shoulder to cook while waiting for judging. Judging was going to be at four o’clock in the afternoon and there were like 20 teams that had signed up. I got my pop-up canopy, grill, chair and the rest of everything I needed and headed over to the bar. I arrived at about 9:00 in the morning and I was the second guy there. The first person had already been there more than an hour!
As I sat and cooked, I had plenty of time to enjoy life. There was rain in the forecast but it never materialized. As the teams filed in and got setup, I saw lots of my friends and met some new folks. I am not really anything special when it comes to ribs or pork shoulder or anything like that. I was out looking to get a “participation” award. Mission accomplished! I participated and got a door prize and some free drink chips. Plus, I found out after judging that I was in the top four of both the dry rub and sauced categories. Not too shabby.
The only mishap that occurred during the event came after everything was put away and I was getting ready to head home. My friend and I tied the grill to the little cargo rack that attaches to the trailer hitch on the vehicle. It seemed sturdy enough, but after about 100 yards, I heard the unmistakable sound of metal being dragged along the pavement. I quickly pulled over and fixed the situation. I made it home without incident but my poor grill did not fare quite as well. I guess it adds character.
Sunday was another down day. Considering all of the activities of Saturday, I was up and ready to tackle the day pretty early. I made myself some coffee, played some Clash of Clans and Dungeon Boss. I read some of my favorite blogs and did some other chores that needed to be done. By about 10:00, it was sunny and warm and I was itchy to get the bike out. I just needed to decide where to go.
This summer will by my and my wife’s 20th wedding anniversary. To celebrate with our friends, we booked a set of cottages way out in the middle of nowhere. It is intended to be a time for us all to get away from everything and to catch up. It doesn’t hurt that it’s in the driftless region of Wisconsin and will be an amazing motorcycle ride to get there. Considering I didn’t know where the place actually was, I decided that would be my destination.
I plugged the address into the GPS and hit the road. I need to figure out some way of recording my voice while I’m out riding. As you know, your brain sort of teleports to the magical place of peace and calmness and you get to reflect on things. You also end up having some pretty random but awesome thoughts. My problem is that I never end up remembering them!
Anyway, I ended up really close to the place where I needed to be but had to stop for a bio-break. I pulled into a gas station and met up with three guys from who appeared (based on their license plates) to be from Minnesota. We chatted a while about bikes, riding and anything else that popped into our heads. Eventually, one of them asked “have you ever been to the Rockton Bar?” I had known it was close and even planned on going there for their famous barbecue chicken. What better time than now?! I directed them as best I could but they already knew how to get there. I took my time and visited the little cottages before making my way to the chicken.
The Kickapoo Valley Ranch is really, really isolated. If getting away from it all is what you’re after, this is the place. Yikes. It’s so isolated, I’m afraid I may have made a mistake in inviting all our friends. The cottages are pretty small and there is nothing to do there. Nothing. We will have to get out and go someplace for food and socializing. I’m sure it’ll be okay.
From there, it was about a 10 minute ride up to the Rockton bar. As I approached, you could see the smoke billowing into the sky. There were bikes lined up all along the road and into the driveway. It was almost like a little bike night. I parked my motorcycle and got in line. There were a lot of people there all on their bikes. The Rockton Bar is somewhat of a destination. It’s always a beautiful ride to get there and back. Plus the food is terrific and the people are friendly.
For me, it was two hours (and almost 100 miles on the nose) to get there. Another two hours back and I was ready for some serious Sunday relaxing. Now if I can just figure out a way to record my thoughts while I’m riding!