Vermont, Pennsylvania and Maryland July and August 2018.

We decided to get a little bit more ambitious with this trip and do three contests in three weeks in three different states. We flew into Newark airport on the 25th July 2018. First port of call the following day was to pick up our transport for the trip, a U-Haul van. Two reasons for this choice. Firstly the car rental companies in the north east region seem to think you want to buy the car rather than rent it judging by the quotes we received and Secondly, we had very kindly been loaned a smoker to use for all three contests by Chad and Nicole of Humphreys smokers,  so we needed transport suitable for that purpose.   

Next stop was to collect our Briskets for the three contests from our great friends Steve and Viv Bedwell at the ‘U.K. KCBS HQ’ ….in Conneticut! After a brief pitstop, and a trip to buy other meats and supplies we were then Northbound to New Hampshire.

The following day we met up with the first of our equipment support teams Eric Dion, who had very kindly agreed to loan us his trailer and complete set up. before long we were heading to the site to set up for the first contest of the trip, Harpoon Brewery in Windsor Vermont. After trimming and prep we were joined by Eric’s lovely lady Tammy and we started on the free beer. Yes, this contest provides enough free beer for each team for around a month! 

Saturday morning we had the first of our visits from old friends Marsha and Roger Wise who are always a pleasure to see, followed by our lovely friends Jeri and Jerry Davilli Luke, who made the trip from Massachusettes just to say hi! 

Harpoon Bbq contest in Vermont is definitely a ‘must do’ for any Bbq team. Location and hospitality is second to none. We managed a 6th place pork and 11th overall in a very strong field. Congratulations to Smokin’ Hoggz Bill Gillespie GC and Insane Swine RGC and to everyone that heard their name called. Thanks to Steve Shuggie Bedwell for his logistics help. Thanks to the wonderful Harpoon Brewery staff for making sure we wanted for nothing. Special thanks to Humphrey’s smokers Chad Humphrey and Nicole Humphrey for going above and beyond the Bbq call of duty by loaning us a great smoker. Special thanks also to Blazing butts bbq Bob Schwarz for equipment support and also special thanks to our latest Bbq family Eric Dion and Tammy Goyette for awesome help, support and friendship.
Thanks as always to our sponsors Pro q macs BBQ, Mcbrikett, Vuur en rook, Bobs butchers, Flame boss, Fab. Full Results here https://www.kcbs.us/event/7781/the-harpoon-brewery-bbq-festival

A few days of rest followed with some sightseeing, including a trip to Ben and Jerry’s HQ and the Von Trapp family home. 

 

Before long it was time to make the journey back South to our second contest of the trip in Macungie Pennsylvania. Our equipment support for this one was kindly provided by Rolfe and Robyn of Rockin’ Robyns bbq. We set up in beautiful sunshine and glorious heat. We were also lucky to have company for the weekend, in the shape of our great friends, Jan and Dale of Pirates of Porkscence, who had made a 12 hour drive to hang out for the weekend. 

Before long the weather took a change for the worse and the rain came, which was so heavy it caused a couple of tents to collapse. As we were using borrowed equipment it was even more important to make sure that didn’t happen to us, which meant no other option but to stay awake for the night and keep pushing the water from the corners of the tent. Whilst doing so an alert popped up on our phones.   Within the space of 40 minutes our tent had gone from having less than an inch of water in it, to having 10-12 inches! The ground sloped away behind us where there were more teams, mostly sleeping in their trucks,vans, tents and motorhomes. These teams were in danger of becoming stranded so a few of us set about waking them up and getting them to move to higher ground. For a few it was too late and their vehicles, smokers and tents were flooded. Fortunately the water quickly started to drop and all but one, badly affected team, decided to continue with the contest, showing real bbq spirit!  

 

Other than the weather it was a great contest, well organised with great reps and very friendly and welcoming teams. Massive congratulations to Top Gun Bbq for GC after having their tent implode with the weight of water on it in the middle of the night and to Fred Vegas smokers for RGC and to everyone that heard their name. We managed a 4th place Pork. Thanks to Rockin Robyn Bbq for their fantastic support of our equipment and to Humphrey’s smokers for the smoker loan again. Special thanks to our Bbq brother and sister Dale and Jan Pirates of Porkscents for making the 12 hour drive to see us! Thanks to our sponsors Pro q macs BBQ, Mcbrikett, Vuur en rook, Bobs butchers, Flame boss, Fab.

The next few days involved a bit more sightseeing, with a trip to Philadelphia to see the Rocky Steps, The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and eat a famous Philly Cheesesteak.        

The following day we started the journey to Bel Air Maryland for our third contest and squeezed in some more sightseeing en route, with a trip to an Amish house and a visit to Intercourse!          

Our equipment support team for Bel Air Maryland came from Mike and Beckie Palmer, in the shape of one of the nicest trailers ever seen.  Mike and Beckie were very generous and we quickly struck up a great new friendship and also made plenty of other new friends including Luke and Kim from Old Virginia Smoke, where we were even able to watch English football at their cook site on Saturday morning. 

Awards time came and we managed a 3rd Chicken, 13th Ribs, 10th Pork for 15th Place overall. Full results here https://www.kcbs.us/event/7912/maryland-state-bbq-bash

So another great trip. States 14, 15 and 16. Several thousands more miles, Four more calls, with three awards and most importantly great memories made with new and existing bbq family. Thanks to everyone that helped us and to all of our sponsors.