Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rio Rancho, New Mexico

This was the start of the girls Spring Break. We left on Wednesday afternoon, as we had 20 hours of driving ahead of us. When I woke up bright and early on Thursday morning (with still 12 hours of driving to go) I found out that a massive front was moving in and was expecting to dump a lot of snow in Eastern New Mexico and in the pan handle of Texas. So I kept up a steady pace to get to Rio Rancho. We started getting hit with real heavy winds about Amarillo. A light rain started in Eastern New Mexico. We made it to Rio Rancho by 7:00 pm and fortunately we missed the snow. I-40 was shut down in parts. As Amarillo, TX got 11 inches of snow! But were the winds ever blowing in Rio Rancho!!!

When I woke on Friday morning, I was expecting 6 inches of snow on the ground. We didn't have any, but I understand that some local places had 3 inches of snow. It was really snowing up in the mountains, but most of the snow was melted by lunchtime. The winds continued all night long, with them actually rocking the RV back and forth. I'd venture a guess to say that they were blowing at times up to 50 mph... Fortunately for us, Rio Rancho is building a new town center and there is construction going on all over the place. We were in that corner of that parking lot that was getting nailed witht he wind first. So I guess we were blocking it for the rest of the teams! Needless to say, I think I will be cleaning desert/sand out of my RV for years to come. At times, it felt like you were in a sandblaster getting pelted with sand from the winds!!! The winds were so strong, that I couldn't get my awning back up without it wanting to act like a sail! So instead, I tied it down to a full cooler, just make sure it didn't take off!

This was officially our 19th state that we as a team have cooked!!! As many of you know, our goals are to try and cook in as many states as we can!!! This was also a fun one for the girls, as Aunt Robin came over from Tucson and met us for a few days. Which made the girls happy!!!

The organizer at this contest Art Perez really bends over backwards for the cooks. They had a real nice feast for us on Friday night and again for breakfast on Saturday morning. I have become a huge fan of green chile's on EVERYTHING!!! The winds and temps didn't keep the people from showing up for the event and there were good crowds all weekend. Saturday was a beautiful day in the 60's and the winds calmed a little bit. I was next to Scott Hettinga from Porkrastinators, as his mom lives in Rio Rancho. He ended up lowering his Ez-Up all the way to the ground and working out of it with it that low. The winds were blowing that strong! I was also next to Mark from Q and he ended up putting his Ez-Up away, as it blew away at one point.

As for the results, I was happy with my turn-ins even if the scores didn't indicate. Our results were:

- 17th place chicken
- 27th place ribs
- 4th place ribs
- 12th place brisket
- 8th place overall.

The Reserve Grand was Wild Hogs BBQ and Grand Champion was Rib-It. It was Mark and Beth's first GC!! Congrats to them! I was happy for them. They were just trembling up on stage, as they called the top 10 up to the stage. I didn't want to pox them, but I thought it was obvious that they had the win.

Probably the highlight of my weekend was a auction that Jim Ballog from Sweet Peppers did in memory of Monica Benedict, who passed away a few months ago. I'll write up a blog on that, but my hat goes off to Jim. You almost had me when we were up on stage and you called Jay. Fortuantely, you didn't have me talk!!! ;-)

So thanks to all the new friends I met in New Mexico! The girls and I had a riot!

Thanks again Jim. You are the man!!!

Cancer Sucks!



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