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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Farewell To Winter - Hello To Spring Geocaching Event

It was a gloriously beautiful Spring day. The kind of day that made you easily forget that just a few days earlier we had three to five inches of snow on the ground. No this was more like what North Carolina can bring in early March. Sunshine filled and the highs around 80 degrees. You just couldn't have picked a better day for a Spring themed geocaching event.

The name of the event was called Farewell To Winter - Hello To Spring hosted by our own Hi Tech Rednecks (Tatortott and Harley Hound) and was held in Princeton, NC. The event itself was on Tatortott's farm land which seemed to stretch out forever.
One of the more interesting features was a bamboo garden which consisted of hundreds of live bamboo trees close together and cut paths that ran through them. Apparently the land was so thick with bamboo that a lot of it had to be bulldozed to make room for their house. The garden path ends at a beautiful gazebo and all surrounded by lush green trees. Breathtaking to say the least.

The event officially was to start around 10 a.m. and to have an afternoon of geocaching based classes given by a bevy of local geocaching instructors. Around 5 p.m. would begin the feast that is known in the south as a Pig Pick'n. Think of it as a huge party with some of the most amazing food on the planet. Lessee if I can explain a couple of quick terminologies so you know what I am talking about and please keep in mind that terminology is regional and so allow some differences.

To the eastern half of the state of North Carolina the word BBQ is something completely different than pretty much everywhere else. For you the term BBQ and grilling usually means the same thing. It refers to the device you are cooking on - a BBQ grill. This also means most of the items that are grilled are covered with a sweet hickory molasses like sauce.

BBQ in North Carolina means only one thing - pig. This particular BBQ is pork served in a certain way. Take your large steel drum and cut it in half top to bottom. Turn it sideways and support it with legs. Hing the sides together so you have a top and a bottom. Put a grating over the bottom half and fill with you favorite wood/coal combination. Insert one whole large prepared porker and cook for hours (we are talking skin and all). The end result is some of THE most succulent pig you will ever taste. Then take a large portion of the meat, chop and add a special southern vinegar based sauce. Serve and enjoy. If you are used to the molasses based sauce it does take a bit of getting used to but who-boy is it delicious.

Now why do they call it a pig pick'n? When the pig is being cooked it is split down the middle with the skin side down against the grill. There is a reason for this and I will explain in a minute. When it is done and ready to be prepared most of the meat is taken away and chopped as explained above. The rest of the pig including some of the best parts stay on the grill and everyone comes up and picks pieces of meat right off the remainder of the pig. Think of it as southern appetizers before the main course. The really great part is something called Cracklin. Ever hear of pork rinds? Cracklin is the original pork rind and is actually the caramelized skin of the pig. You break off a piece which is very brittle but not burnt. Peel off the pork meat and then eat the cracklin which is crispy like home made jerky. You have to try it to believe it and for all you health conscience people out there I am not even going to try explain this. All you have to know is it's some kind of yummy and once tried you will be hooked. Guess I veered off a tad on the food, typical for me.

To sum up the day, Miss Geoness and I was able to do some geocaching in the Princeton area and picked up about twenty geocaches. That was a good thing because she is now just shy of her 250 finds mark and I have a special geocoin and pin waiting for her when she does get there. We had a blast driving around in the very micro enriched town.

The rest of the day we spent at the event itself either attending classes about GSAK, creative geocaches, planning high number geocaching trips, etc. or talking with about fifty fellow geocachers. Some I know and some were new faces as well. Before we knew it the dinner bell rang we feasted on pork, potatoes, coleslaw, baked beans, venison stew and a host of other delights. Tatortott really pulled out all the stops on this and to enjoy this in the beginning of March, pure heaven.

As night came many of us sat around a very nice fire and just chit-chatted. The only difference between a star filled sky this day or one in June was the complete lack of bugs. Again just a magical time to sit back relax and enjoy yourself.

The time unfortunately came to say our goodbyes but not before once again thanking our hostess . Tatortott explained straight out that this was her way of thanking the geocaching community for being the kind spirited people they are and for all the really great hides we do. What a fantastic ending for a wondrous day..


QuiltingFitzy said...

Your event sounded WONDERFUL!

Got out and found 2 after a restaurant breakfast, as I had a TB I needed to place.

BBQ in AZ is a little different, it refers to pulled pork that's been bbq'd and is sometimes in sauce, lol.

You should try geocaching out here someday, it's always beautiful and sunshiney warm.

P.J. said...

Sounds like one heck of a fun event. And good food, too.

We're doing a breakfast around here at the end of the month... alas, I'm not banking on 80 degree days. I'm just happy we haven't been thumped by the white stuff in a while.

Alas, I'm sure we'll be due for one more before the good weather is here to stay.

A 'lil HooHaa