So the 5 Ws:
Who: Anyone and everyone who wants to enjoy some good times telling lies by the fire, show off their setups, enjoy some fine porcine products (not canned pork brains in milk gravy nor ham hocks in a jar ) plus fixins, or has got nothing better to do than to hangout with some mighty fine friendly folks.
What: Hammocking and Barbeque (that's right real BBQ, with smoke not just grilling)
When: April 19 - 21, 2013
Where: Falls Lake State Recreational Area, Rolling View Group Campsite 4
Why: Because who doesn't love good food, good times, and great company?
How: Sign Up Sheet
According to my totally unscientific method of posting a "Is anyone interested" thread I found that apparently people here really love two things.
- Getting together for group hangs
So it is with great joy that I bring you all the (hopefully) first annual Smoked Butt Hang. A few details are still being worked out behind the scenes with my expert Events Manager (aka My lovely wife ) who is far better at organizing things like this than I am. The site has been reserved and the thumbsup given by the park office for both the hanging and the que making. Of course ground dwellers are welcome to come too. I'm sure we'll try not to look down on them from our lofty beds.
The group meal plan is BBQ. Now for anyone who wasn't raised right and thinks BBQ meals burgers, I'll enlighten and correct you now. Burgers on a grill is a cookout. Proper BBQ requires smoked meat. Cooked low and slow till the meat is so tender you can near about cut it with a dull spoon. Whether it is dry rubbed or sauce slathered it must be smoked to be BBQ. I'm checking around locally for good price on Butts (and maybe Ribs if the price is right) so if anyone knows a place with a good price and willing to ship please let me know. If we have multiple pit masters (or just pit master wannabes) I think it would be cool to have a mini "cookoff" to share the flavors with everyone. If people would like to bring or prepare a dish for the group meal that would be fantastic as well. Meal time will obvioulsy depend on the meat as that needs several hours to obtain the perfect mix harmony of smokey and tender. And speaking of meat, if anyone has a proper smoker they would like to bring that would be great, otherwise I will be bringing my grill which I've used to smoke BBQ several times and it works, just not a huge amount of space (especially for smoking large items). If people want to do a group breakfast that would great as well.
Now I'm sure someone is likely to bring up a potential pre/post hike question so I'll give a headstart on that discussion. The Mountain to Sea Trail (NC's long trail) runs along the South coast of Falls Lake and is concurrently known as the Falls Lake Trail. The trail passes along the edge of the park and has a spur trail that leads directly into the park as well.
Best map I can find online of the Falls Lake Trail
East to West written directions of the Falls Lake Trail (as of April 2011)
I'd guess that most could probably do the trip between the East terminus (the Falls Lake Dam) and the hang location in 2 days. The Western terminus in one long day. Of course that depends on conditioning and just because we're not in the mountains doesn't mean we don't have some PUDs.
Since we will be on a lake paddle camping is a good possibilty. I've never paddled the lake so I can't speak to personal experience, but I've often seen people out enjoying the water. There are 4 official launch points on the lake, although you could likely also put in at the Marina. You can get an idea of where the launch points are located via the Falls Lake Park Map. One of the launches is a quick walk from the camp site as well as a sand beach for swimming (if the temps are warm enough of course) and a fishing pier.
And since I know someone might want to know what kinda of weather to expect.
As for the funding of this little get together of ours, well that's what the poll is for. My wife prefers the idea of everyone paying ahead of time to cover the costs of the site and the succulent pig to be feasted upon. (Of course I'd be picking up the pork in this instance.) However if someone else felt urged to provide the pork then this cost would be dramatically reduced for everyone else who would like to attend, and I would in turn provide some other delicious bit to go with the meal. I am reluctant to go with the raffle, as I know our amazing cottage vendors already give plenty to other group hangs including the MAHHA, which occurs the following weekend (so come make a week of it everyone), and I don't want to place any extra demand on their businesses. (Of course if the vendors wanted to step up and offer raffle items I'd be willing and happy to go that course as well.) No matter which way we decide to fund the event anything above costs will be split three ways: HammockForums for site upkeep, Friends of the Mountain to Sea trail for trail maintenance, and NC State Parks for park funding.