As I waddled out of Speedy’s, I couldn’t help but enjoy the sense of accomplishment I felt. Four meals of barbecue in 90 minutes to finish off three weeks of touring. Vince Lombardi said that there is nothing better than the euphoric feeling that comes when you’re lying exhausted on the field of play, victorious. I couldn’t agree more.
What Vince Lombardi doesn’t mention is the ridiculous toll said victory can have on your body. After all was said and done, I wanted to vomit, my chest hurt and I had a case of the meat sweats. Chris wanted to vomit just because he watched me eat everything.
But amid the pain, there was a sense of immense pride. The same kind of pride a redneck has when he pulls his truck up to a friend’s house covered in mud. The kind of pride that makes you stick your chest out a little farther, which incidentally I needed to do in order to offset the expansion of my gut over the past three weeks.
Regardless of the toll it took on my body, the barbecue tour was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Spending three weeks catching up with friends, trying local beers and sampling some of the best barbecue in the world was absolutely phenomenal. Having the opportunity to meet so many of the legends of barbecue was inspiring. Barbecue, similar to craft beer, wine and music, is a labor of love. The people I met truly have a passion for their craft, and while most make a decent living, their true reward comes from knowing they’ve given generations of families and friends a reason to get together and celebrate.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re either my parents or you really love barbecue. Either way, I hope you enjoyed the trip a fraction as much as I did. I’ll continue to post about new places I’ve found from time to time, and would love to get any recommendations on places that I haven’t mentioned. I’m always up for a good road trip.