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Righteous Trailheads Scale Mighty Kennesaw Mountain; Refuel With Righteous ‘Que.

Updated: Apr 20

Last week, only Trail Master Guy and Patrick hiked. It was a pathetic showing that warranted no written account. They took photos of each other and shared them between themselves. Lewis and Clark wannabes. It was a sad day in Trailheads’ world. 


This week, Guy, Patrick, and Steve rallied to represent the true Trailheads' cause of being on the path to truth and barbecue. Roy was still sick with a nasty sinus infection, although he somehow mustered enough energy and stamina to play (limited) pickleball the day before. He claimed it was a test to check his endurance, and the wheezing man in his head said, "Do not even think about hiking. I need rest." He obeyed. Roy has many voices in his head and sometimes arranges barbershop quartets for them to sing.


Brad pulled a muscle in his back from lifting a box of heavy books. We suppose there were titles like “The Complete History of Concrete,” “Heavy Metals,” and “Weighty Philosophical Questions.” We were surprised to learn Brad had books because we didn’t know he ever read. Perhaps they are decorative books.


And George was busy doing work, flitting like a hummingbird from project to project. Work, work, work, that's all he seems to do anymore. We miss him (sniff, sniff).


It was a pretty spring day as Atlanta’s trees greened up nicely under a cloudless sky. Our hiking site was Kennesaw Mountain, the site of a famous Civil War battle in the summer of 1864. While we are sure we had done this hike once before, we find no record of it in our “Saucy Chronicles.” Curious. Maybe we dreamt it. Does exercise in dreams count?


If you have never done this hike, lace up your boots and make tracks. This is a beautiful trail with steep elevations. Mind your step, though––there are perils galore afoot that will knock you down and make you cry like someone stole your lunch money.


Steve, who thought he was in good shape from playing pickleball and working his Peloton like the Wicked Witch of The West in “The Wizard of Oz,” found a challenge in Kennesaw Mountain. He huffed and puffed his way up, then took a break to rest. 


Up ahead was the stern Trail Master and his vicious attack dog, Fio.

“What are you doing, worm?” Guy barked. “Get those legs working, soldier.”

“Let me catch my breath, sarge,” Steve gasped.

“Keep lollygagging, and you’ll catch hell, mister! Now, move it!”

Steve trudged onward and upward as Patrick crouched hidden behind a tree to avoid the gaze of the madman leading our patrol. The coward wept quietly and wet himself, which is not all that unusual. Tears and urine are cooling.


We came to a flat area and beheld the glorious view. Off in the distance, midtown and downtown Atlanta appeared through the fog, or was it smog? Whatever it was, the big city was a forest away. 


Up higher on the mountain were Confederate canons aimed at Acworth. You never know when Acworthians might attack, although back in 1864, the weapons were probably there to persuade invading Union troops to turn around and go home. Perhaps the Yankees settled in Acworth and need to be reminded the cannons are still around.


The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was bloody and costly to both sides. Union Forces had 37,646 casualties; Confederate Forces had 34,979. General William T. Sherman said, “There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell.” And boy, oh, boy, was he ever right (although we think the Sherman pictured below is not the right one).


Sherman (Not the one above) tried an assault on the mountain, and his soldiers were torn to shreds by Confederate Army gunfire. Then, the Union General got smart and took his troops and went around Kennesaw Mountain. They marched on to Atlanta, and torched the place (the city didn't have fire insurance, either).

The aftermath of the Battle of Atlanta is depicted in a dramatic scene from Gone With The Wind, featuring one of the most impressive camera crane shots ever executed. That Billy Sherman had a sense for the dramatic.


Atlanta was critical to the Rebel cause. Its railroads were “the crossroads of the Confederacy.” The surrounding area had many foundries, arsenals, machine shops, and factories essential for supplying the war.

Once Atlanta fell, Sherman marched to the sea, cutting a path of destruction across Georgia. He didn’t make many local fans along the way. The Union Army did all of that without the aid of a single Interstate. Looking back on it, it might have made it a faster trip.


We enjoyed the views from the top of Kennesaw Mt., then descended along steep stone-strewn pathways. One marvels at the Confederate men in 1864, outfitted in woolen uniforms carrying heavy packs, guns, and canons up the mountain in the dead of summer.

"We wuz promised spiffy, crisp, linen uniforms for the Summer, warn't we?” a soldier might ponder. “With white bucks and Panama hats!"

“Yeah,” another troop might respond. “And tents with AC and Yeti coolers.”


Trailheads thought a parade would honor us for making our steep ascent, but no. People didn’t seem all that impressed. We returned to the parking lot on the paved road. Going down the mountain was much easier. Along the way, we saw true heroes, two young mothers pushing double baby carriages up the hill. We felt like the wimps we are.


There is a beautiful Kennesaw Mountain Visitor Center complete with indoor plumbing. We went inside and made a quick tour of the gift shop. You can buy a Union or Confederate cap here. Or, as some call them, Winners and Losers caps.


For sports fans, buy a souvenir baseball with illustrations of Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. Lee had an impressive lifetime 2.38 ERA thanks to his 99-mph fastball, wicked curve, and befuddling change-up. But given his war record, it's safe to say that he didn't make the playoffs.


And Grant was no slouch with the lumber. He batted clean-up for the Federal Army and had a .348 lifetime batting average. Despite his girth, he was also a crafty baserunner who averaged 122 stolen bases a season. He was MVP in 1865.


The museum is impressive. But be advised: you could learn some history if you're not careful. According to our history buff, Guy, the story told is accurate (ignoring the baseballs), although, in the future, it may be sanitized if we’re not vigilant against revisionist historians. If you haven’t been to Kennesaw Mountain, do so. Bring the kids or strangers. You will all enjoy the hike and the Visitors Center.

It was time for lunch, and we found a joint we hadn’t sampled yet: Righteous ‘Que in Marietta. The restaurant is in Piedmont Commons Shopping Center (look for the big Publix). Righteous ‘Que serves “old school oak & cherry smoked BBQ” and has a spacious, well-decorated interior with artwork honoring pigs and steers and cluckers.


There are some nicely designed Righteous ‘Que tees and hats for sale and a sign with their slogan “soul-saving barbecue.” We immediately liked the vibe of this church for smoked meats, and our souls could certainly use a little redemption. Or maybe exorcism.

We want to remind you about our tees and caps for sale on our website (visit here). All profits go directly to the Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy (learn more here).


We placed our orders with the friendly counter folks. The beef brisket looked seriously delicious––the meat was succulent and fresh-sliced like a dream. You can order brisket, pulled pork, or chicken by the ounce and ribs by the bone. Sample it all. The special of the day was chicken wings.


We grabbed a picnic table outside, and Brad and Elvis joined us for lunch. The plates of food arrived, and they looked good enough to eat, so we did just that while Guy had a Facetime call with his son Evan in California.


Steve had the wings and loved them. The meaty wings were painted thick with a savory maple and spice sauce. He gnawed the bones clean, happy with his bellyful of righteous deliciousness.


Brad, Patrick, and Guy had the beef brisket. We were impressed at how fresh and moist the meat was. The brisket had excellent flavor and really came to life dressed with the original barbecue sauce or the amped-up spicey version. This brisket is legit. Brad got some brisket to go––dinner solved. We helped him carry it to his car to prevent further back damage.


Guy had samples of brisket, pulled pork, and chicken. Patrick also had a pork sample, and we were both instant fans. The pulled pork was succulent and fork-tender, with good flavor.


Guy liked his chicken, also. As you probably guessed, it was moist and flavorful. That covers our grazing through the animal kingdom.


On to the sides. Patrick is a sucker for any place that makes fresh potato chips, so he had a side of those, and they were a hit. The crispy chips are dusted with spiced salt that was mouth magic. Every crunch is a pleasant adventure.


Brad dug into his collard greens with gusto. They were the real deal, cooked to perfection and peppered with bits of smoked pork for extra oomph. He was a happy man, Brad.


He also had the fried okra. The green morsels are batter-dipped and flash-fried to a golden brown. One taste, and you may propose to them. No worries, people won’t talk too much. We believe relations between a human and a vegetable are legal in most states.


Steve liked his coleslaw. “It tastes like coleslaw,” he said, and no one argued. That's Steve for you. He tells it like it is; the man is a proud cabbage truth-teller.


But he did break character and raved about his baked beans. “These are really good,” he declared, sending another forkful down his hatch. He was famished after getting schooled by Fio early that morning on the basketball court.


We finished our lunches, loosened our belts, and saddled up the vehicles for our assault on Atlanta. Given the traffic lately, we didn’t like our odds of a speedy trip, so we planned alternate routes. Trailheads made battle plans.


After a victorious day, we suggest you attack Righteous ‘Que soon.


Rating: Four Ribs*

Righteous ‘Que

1050 E Piedmont Rd.

Marietta, GA 30062


*About Our Barbecue Rating System

Trailheads do not claim to be food experts, epicureans, or sophisticated palates. We are hungry hikers who attack a selected barbecue venue and ravage our way through whatever smoked fare and fixings they're dishing out. Our reviews feature what we believe are the highlights of the menu we sampled. So our intent is not to trash talk the saintly folks who tend to smoldering smokers on hot, humid summer days. They are sacrificing themselves in the noble art of smoking meats and feeding the drooling masses. Many are independent entrepreneurs who are the backbone of this humming American economy. Now that you know our standards, you may wonder why every barbecue place gets a four-ribs rating. The answer is easy: our group has acclaimed designers, and they think the ribs graphic looks cool. Who are we to argue? Enjoy.

  • barbecue

  • AtlantaBarbecue

  • bbqsauce

  • brisket

  • Brisket

  • ChattahoocheeChallenge

  • Chiggers

  • Elvis Loves Fio

  • hikingforfood

  • HikingGeorgia

  • hiking

  • North Georgia BBQ

  • Pierre de Coubertin Medal

  • Pulled Pork

  • quicksand

  • Ribs

  • Trailheads

  • Trailheads Approved

  • Whitesauce

  • TrailheadsHike

  • City BBQ

  • Summit Coffee

  • Okra

  • AJC

  • Olivia

  • Glacier National Park

  • Island Ford Trail

  • Pulitzer

  • Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy

  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution


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