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Skeletal Crew Haunts Freedom Parkway Trail, Then Dodge Cops At Fox. Bros Bar-B-Q.

Updated: May 19

Three Trailheads assembled on the grounds of the 1864 Augustus Hurt Plantation, a beautiful plot of land that The Carter Presidential Center off John Lewis Freedom Parkway now occupies. This excursion was a leisurely walk with a short hike through the wilderness thrown in to keep our nature cred. Trail Master Guy told his loyal troops, George and Patrick, that no boots were required, so we wore comfortable sneakers.

We are fans of HOKA shoes, and we invite the cushy shoe company to sponsor us and issue a Trailheads edition of footwear that is climate-controlled and automatically advances forward, dragging its wearer along for the ride. You’re welcome, America.

Where was everyone else? They took up residence in ExcuseVille. Roy and his lovely bride Karlenne were in Spain celebrating their 40th Anniversary, living it up in luxury hotels and dining at fancy restaurants. We suppose their trip is a legitimate excuse to leave his hiking pals in the lurch, but we were still bitter, though––why didn’t he take all the Trailheads and their Trailmates to help celebrate their joyous occasion? Yes, the cold shoulder hurt. He's not a good man, Roy. Karlenne is a saint–– enduring 40 years of him!

Steve was getting a colonoscopy. Perhaps that's TMI, but the procedure is recommended every ten years for everyone between the ages of 45 and 75 since it dramatically reduces the chance of death from colorectal cancer. We took it personally that he thought that procedure was better than hiking with us, but maintaining good health is always a priority. Trail Master is a demanding taskmaster, except on this fine day.

And Brad had a lunch appointment. Couldn’t he have come up with a better excuse? “Sorry, guys, I can’t hike today because I have to lay down some bass tracks on a new Taylor Swift jam.” We would have been impressed––we didn’t know Brad played bass! Was he a disciple of the late Jaco Pastorius? Hm, that makes for a good story.

Before we began our excursion, we explored the Carter Center grounds. We approached a bell tower and read about The Peace Bell, presented to President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn in 1985 to commemorate the construction of The Carter Presidential Center.

During WWII, the Japanese government collected many temple bells and melted them down to make ammunition. This one survived.

Patrick saw a potential career as the Quasimodo for the old clangor but realized that would entail punctuality and a work ethic. No dice—he passed. Patrick, like Quasi, has a face that rings a bell, so it was a tough decision.

We inspected the bust of the 39th President of the United States. At age 99, Jimmy Carter is the oldest-living former U.S. president and the longest-living one in our country’s history. He is also the only Georgian elected to the office. Carter has been in Hospice care for over a year, and his wife Rosalynn passed away last November.

We believe no ex-president has done more for humanity than #39, and he has a Nobel Peace Prize to prove it. Jimmy Carter is a great American and citizen of the World.

Enough talk. Let’s walk.

AllTrails describes this excursion as the Freedom Park Linear Trail. It is a wide sidewalk winding through beautiful sections of Virginia Highlands, Inman Park, and Candler Park. There are some elevations, but this is considered an “easy” hike, which is about our speed.

While there are no exposed roots or rocks to trip you, be aware of many cyclists buzzing you from behind if you are not walking on the right side of the walkway. Of course, a British cyclist may clip you for being on the right side, which they consider theirs. What’s with those people anyway? Drive right!

Be careful walking The Freedom Trail since you must cross busy streets. It’s like living in a game of Frogger. Hitting a Trailheads is only worth 4 points, so it’s hardly worth the effort. Please don’t mow us down. We haven’t eaten yet.

Trail Master improvised us off the trail and into a dirt path running through the woodlands. Suddenly, our walk became a momentary hike. Mother Nature beamed with pride and joy as her lost lambs were found and returned to her generous embrace. But then the path ended, dumping us back onto the concrete trail, and we resumed our in-town adventure.

We came upon a metallic structure. Inside the sphere of various shapes was a metallic bust of a man. Who was it? A sign informed us it was the artist, Jaume Plensa. It is a remarkable piece, and we thought it would be a grand idea to construct a Trailheads art project, something simple like each of the six members attacking a baby back rib, wrasslin’ a black bear, or maybe swatting a blood-thirsty mosquito. You know, us doing something heroic. Mr. Plensa, feel free to begin this masterpiece.

Our skeletal crew journeyed back to The Carter Center. While we all had attended events inside the building, we had never explored the grounds. The greenspaces are impressive, complete with a beautiful koi pond that Fio decided was a large water bowl and bath. She enjoyed long slurps and a cooling dip.

We saw a metal moose sculpture, which naturally warranted more pictures. We conferred. Did this qualify as a wildlife sighting? We like to point out when we see nature's creatures in their natural habitat.

It makes us feel more outdoorsy. We concluded a metal moose did not qualify as authentic wildlife, but it was still cool. And not dangerous.

Next, we came upon a sculpture honoring The Carter Center’s successful efforts in helping eradicate river blindness (onchocerciasis) in Africa and Latin America. Bravo!

We had run out of grounds and were back by the The Carter Center building. There was a short walkway through the building to get to the other side of the greenspaces. The friendly guard working inside allowed Trail Master to escort Fio quickly through the breezeway. She held her head high and dared anyone to ask, "What's that dog doing in here?" 

Outside was a beautiful reflection pond, so naturally, photo op! 

Our exploration was done. We punched out and headed to a favorite barbecue joint, the original Fox Bros. on DeKalb Ave. We last visited this barbecue emporium in June (read about that visit here). We brought our hunger to an outside table and sat our bellies down.

As we sat, we spied Johnny Law lurking in the background. Was “The Man” about to bust Trailheads for taking an easy “sneakers walk” instead of a rigorous boots hike? Had the guard at The Carter Center dropped a dime on Guy and Fio for their indoor stroll? Did they finally crack the case of Patrick’s string of bank robberies? None of us had heard about that before. Patrick has kept his nefarious dealings and possible prison time from everyone. He is quite the naughty lad on the lam from the law.

We lowered our caps, bowed heads, and quietly examined the menus. Paranoia struck deep in George but like David Crosby he let his freak flag fly. He noodled an escape plan on a paper napkin (just in case), but the cops were only there for lunch. We were safe, for now. We placed our orders and breathed easy.

George sampled the spareribs and nodded in appreciation as he gnawed the smoked meat to the bone. He did a rib for a chicken wing exchange deal with Guy. Trail Master got right to it, rib in one hand, sauce in the other. The man meant business.

George and Patrick raved about their beef brisket chilis. If you’ve never had the Fox Bros. all-meat chili, do not deprive yourself of this hearty bowl of savory spices and lean smoked brisket. You will have a very happy spoon.

Guy loved his smoked wings. No one serves better wings than the Brothers Fox.

Patrick ordered an everything plate with four meats, planning to take leftovers to his wife, a Texas native who often jones for authentic Fox Bros Bar-B-Q.

He doubled down on the beef brisket, with the pulled pork and four wings––showing an appreciation for every animal group. All the meats were excellent, as usual. He considered eating the entire platter for a moment, but fear of Donna won the day.

Here's a drive-by of sides: George liked his slaw, and Guy enjoyed his salad. Salad? Patrick went to the cops and requested they bust the Trail Master for eating healthy garden vegetables. They told him to get lost.

“We’re eating lunch, punk,” an officer said. “Amscray!”

We got some food to go so we’d have dinners for us and our spouses, and as we paid and exited, we appreciated the Fox Bros.’ front door plastered with stickers. Can you find the Trailheads sticker? Game on.

It was a grand day. Happy 40th, Roy & Karlenne. Please bring us back some Spanish barbecue.

Rating: Four Ribs*

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q

1238 Dekalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30328

404 577-4030


*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

  • bbq sauce

  • brisket

  • Brisket

  • ChattahoocheeChallenge

  • Chiggers

  • Elvis Loves Fio

  • hikingforfood

  • HikingGeorgia

  • hiking

  • North Georgia BBQ

  • Pierre de Coubertin Medal

  • Pulled Pork

  • quicksand

  • Ribs

  • Trailheads

  • Trailheads Approved

  • White sauce

  • 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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