Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rallies 2011 – Day 14

Attention followers of my SPOT tracker: I forgot to turn it on today. ooops!

We had such a great internet connection that we stayed at the hotel this morning until 11am. There was also a heavy fog in the area which didn’t start to burn off until after 9:30. The Cabott Inn in Lancaster will not be a place I return to. The town is nice and there are a few other places to stay in town, pick one of those. Stay away from the Cabott Inn, enough said.

We headed west out of Lancaster on Hwy 2.  We followed that over to St. Johnsbury where the Garmin took us on a detour around the town via interstate. Then it was west again on Hwy 2 to Montpilier, VT. We hopped on I-89N to Burlington. I checked the GPS and there was a place in town with BBQ in the name so we stopped in at Big Fatty’s BBQ for some pork spare ribs and pulled pork. That’s mighty good eating there. While we were eating, there were a group of college kids cheering on their friend who was trying the monster challenge. It’s 4lbs of food for $20 and you have 1 hour to eat it all and keep it down. Then it’s free. What you get is a 1lb bun, 2lbs of pulled pork and 1lb of french fries. The kid talked a good game while he was waiting for the order but 10 minutes into the challenge he abandoned the idea of eating it all in 15 minutes.

We left the bbq joint and followed the GPS to the Charlotte/Essex ferry. For $12 we were able to cut out about 1 hour of travel time and enjoy a fun ride across Lake Champlain. It was Reagan’s first ferry ride on the scooter. It went fine. While on the ferry we met a fellow rally attendee who was from Maine. He had all sorts of LED lights and stuff to make his Spyder glow at night. It was a good visit across the lake.

Once off the ferry we were in New York state and riding back roads. We stopped along the way for gas. Riding back roads in this part of the country I equate to riding in Yellow Stone national park. There’s lots of scenery and always someone in front of you going slower than the speed limit. The roads are in fair condition and there are some occasional curves to enjoy if you find yourself alone and unobstructed.

We rolled into Lake Placid and found our hotel with ease. Checking in was just a matter of patience. There were a few people in line ahead of us and the front desk clerk seemed to have a singe track mind. When it was our turn, she checked us in and pointed us to our room.

After unloading the bikes we head down the road to Tail 0’ the Pup BBQ where the rally registration was. We walked around looking at all the other spyders. Some folks have put a lot of effort into customizing their rides. I couldn’t believe all the led lights and painted stuff on the bikes. The few that did have auxiliary lighting installed didn’t seem to have them set up for actual night driving. And I only saw 1 license plate backer claiming to be an Iron Butt member. I happen to know she’s from Texas ;)

After browsing the bikes we sat down to eat some BBQ and check off our 3rd joint and our 3rd state for the Smoke Chasin ride that Reagan talked about last night. I wasn’t all the hungry and really didn’t want any more pork today, so I ordered the Texas BBQ Brisket and 2 sides. What I got looked like it was cooked in an oven and had been pulled, not sliced or chopped. There was no smoke flavor to speak of either. I tried the meat by itself and then with their sauce. DON’T USE THE SAUCE. It positively did not go with the beef. I think it was a poorly concocted ketchup/vinegar combination. The potato salad was bland. The baked beans though were top notch. Reagan ordered “Poo Tin” which is waffle fries with brown gravy and shredded cheese on top. Together we cleaned her plate. More than 1/2 of the brisket went back untouched.

I kept seeing these shirts saying “It’s the wood that makes it so good.” When I asked our waitress she said she couldn’t tell me what they cooked on. I was thinking there was no wood at all for a giant oven. So I went up and asked to see the pit. I lucked out because the pit master was standing right next to the person I asked. He was a little shocked I was asking to see the pit but then took me around back. They are running 3 large vertical electric pits. When he opened the doors to his rib smoker I instantly recognized the hickory smoke. When I asked what else he had in the smoke besides Hickory he recognized that I wasn’t just a chump wanting to do BBQ. He confessed they blend Apple and Hickory together. After the ribs stay on smoke for a pre-determined time (sorry I’m not saying how long) then he takes them off, puts them into large uncovered pans with a little apple juice in the bottom to make them “fall off the bone tender”.

The guy is passionate about his Q. He’s proud of his pits and he’s working to get some larger ones so he can cook even more BBQ. My first impression was to say “Pass the place by.” But he’s got the passion and he certainly knew what he was doing. I think he just missed the mark on the Brisket. The Texas AG’s office might just want to prosecute them for poorly representing Texas Brisket. The table next to us had the ribs and they didn’t quite look like they were “fall off the bone tender”. I think he might jut be rushing his cook times to keep up with demand. He needs to slow down and cook things a little longer. And fix that BBQ sauce.

Of the 2 places we went to today, I’d definitely recommend Big Fatty’s BBQ in Burlington, VT. If your up to it take him up on his $20 monster challenge.

Tomorrow we get to ride around the area and see the scenery while participating in a poker run. This will be the first poker run Reagan and I have ever done. The route looks simple but of course I’m going to program the locations into my GPS, I wouldn’t be me otherwise. I’ll make sure to turn on SPOT tomorrow.

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