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Trailheads Do An Intown Community Hike, Then Eat At Intown Community Barbecue––We're Confused Too.

It was déjà vu all over again as the only three Trailheads who hiked were Brad, Guy, and Roy, with Fio and Elvis keeping them well-behaved. We hiked Morningside Nature Trail since it’s nearby and offers a pristine splash of Mother Nature in the city. Most in-town communities have bulldozed natural beauty to make way for ugly apartments, parking lots, and mixed-use developments with a Starbucks, a Sprouts, and a Top Golf. 

But midtown Morningside preserved this pretty area as a peaceful respite from hectic city living. Starbucks hates this kind of tree-hugging stuff because it’s bad for business.


Steve was at a meeting of technology startups focused on serving the needs of senior citizens. That's not us, of course, but we told Steve to take notes anyway. A lot of notes, in case he forgets. And George was working again, so he didn't hike. He’s a busy bee, back from France, working stateside and modeling Baron de Coubertin t-shirts. We're proud of his successful projects, but we miss him.

Patrick was returning from his lifestyle of the rich and famous vacation in St. Croix, USVI. He hiked in an arid climate by the sea and ate barbecue, which he said was nothing to write home about. Although he did write us about the pulled pork sandwich--at great length. Patrick maintained Trailhead status.


There has been some talk lately about booting these absentee Trailheads and holding open auditions––but we’re afraid if we did that, we may have to deal with athletic people who have brains and good taste. Who needs that kind of pressure? No thanks, we’ll stick with our ragamuffin crew of ne’er-do-wells. It’s easier.


Brad spotted a majestic pair of hawks swooping around the trail parking lot. The birds of prey landed in a tree across from us and stared down. They seemed curious about what these guys and dogs were up to. We translated their hawk conversation by using a new app on our iPhones. 


"You take the dogs,” one hawk said. “I'll get the humans. I missed breakfast, so I’m going for the one with the big head first."

"You know I'm allergic to dogs!" the other hawk complained. “Let’s leave them alone, fly over to Peachtree, and get Starbucks instead. I could use a venti Peppermint Mocha Cappuccino.”

“Great. I’ll have a Pistachio Latte and grab us a couple of blueberry muffins.”

“No muffin for me. I’ll get a spinach, feta, and egg white wrap.”

“Eggs?! Really? That’s kind of gross, isn’t it?”

“Shut up. I'm trying to lose a few. Let’s go!”

As we watched the hawks fly away, off in the distance, dozens and dozens of helium-filled balloons rose into the sky. Had there been a jailbreak from the Ansley Park Balloon Prison? Maybe someone received a massive delivery of heart-shaped balloons for Valentine's Day and decided they weren't so keen on being that person's Valentine.

Or perhaps the balloons were a decoy for vicious clowns lying in wait to kill us (they’re everywhere). We'll never know the true story, but it was quite a sight. 


We began our journey into the deepest, darkest jungle of Morningside. The beginning of the trail has an embedded hex grid that helps you negotiate the slope. Recent rains made the ground slick and slippery in spots. We remembered the little bridges and walkways on the trail were in disrepair and dangerous to unsuspecting feet. Fortunately, someone with woodworking skills noticed that too.


We immediately saw a major change had been made to the stairs leading down to the creek bed. Previously, the steps had open steel grates. They'd been replaced with fresh wood that still had the new wood bridge smell everyone loves.

Elvis loved the improvement since he doesn’t like stairs he can see through. He's the same way in glass-bottomed swimming pools in high rises. It creeps him out.


We trekked through the Jurassic swamp at the bottom of the bridge. Even the dogs didn’t jump into this dirty water. (Trivia question: what band had the hit song "Dirty Water" in 1966?) We walked along a beautifully constructed boardwalk leading us through the muck to the solid ground beyond.


We walked down to the sandy beach along the creek. The water was high and moving, clear from all the rain. The dogs went in for a refreshing dip. Then they returned and dried themselves on our pants. They need to remember to bring their beach towels.


As we walked along, we discussed a lot of topics.


First, we trashed the Trailheads who were not present. It's our tradition and the penalty you pay for playing hooky instead of hiking.


We next moved into the political portion of our program and agreed that if we didn’t have all the answers, we had damn near most of them. We could make this a much better world if only someone would listen to our inane babbling.


Then we transitioned to the subject of Putin's Space Invaders weapon. Or is it a gaming app? If it is, we wondered if it’d be compatible with PlayStation 5. It’s hard to know until the official launch date. But if Pootie’s secret weapon is on the same schedule as Roy's VW Buzz, we may never see it.


We commented that we hadn't encountered anyone with dogs. No sooner had we spoken when along came a friendly young couple named Jared and Tiffany with five dogs (they said they had one more at home).

One of their dogs was a Weimaraner, a dog breed that’s much harder to spell than “poodle.” As we looked at this beautiful dog with the hard-to-spell name, we talked about William Wegman’s iconic photography of Weimaraners. Who doesn't love a sharp-dressed dog? We gave Jared and Tiffany a Trailheads sticker, as Elvis and Fio gave their dogs a sniff goodbye. 


The trail dead-ended because of the high water, so we began walking back out. We alerted Steve that we were finished hiking, and he hopped into his car and sped away to join us for lunch. 


We chose Community Q BBQ on Clairmont because it has outside tables for the dogs and us. It had been a long while since we'd been here, and when we tasted the delicious food, we wondered why not. (Read about a previous visit here.)


This joint has all the usual barbecue and pig knick-knacks displayed hither and yon (how they balance a knick on a hither and a knack on a yon is beyond us). We ordered at the counter and poured our drinks, and by the time we got to our table, the food was arriving and looked great.

The sandwiches were served on grilled toast––we love that because we believe toasting is caring. The meats and sides all looked terrific.


Would we be polite and wait for Steve before we began eating? Of course not (that’ll teach him not to hike). We were starved and dove right in.


Guy had a pulled chicken sandwich, sweet baked beans, and coleslaw. He loved his smoky chicken and made goo-goo eyes at it. He dressed his chicken with Community Q BBQ’s sweet red barbecue sauce and then got serious. The sandwich didn’t stand a chance. He said his sides were perfect in every way.


Roy ordered a pulled pork sandwich. It was piled high with inside and outside meat (the way he likes it). He slathered it with Community's vinegar-based sauce that’s tangy and makes tastebuds sit up and pay attention. The slaw was crunchy, sweet, and mighty fine. And the collard greens were good and meaty––like a vegetable should be if it’s not breaded and fried.


Brad was ravished and had the two-meat platter with beef brisket and pork ribs. He went full-on southern man for his sides, with black-eyed peas and collards. He loved the peas––“These babies are packed with flavor!" he exclaimed. He exclaims a lot during lunch. It’s his thing. 


Steve finally arrived, ordered, and filled us in on the latest in senior tech. We were fascinated and watched him eat as we cooed with satisfaction because our bellies were full of barbecue love. We enjoyed the camaraderie that is supposed to be healthy for guys like us.


There was a recent dust-up between Monty Python’s Eric Idle and John Cleese, who wrote, “We always loathed and despised each other.” Comedy fans were shocked. Cleese later posted that it was a joke. Really? What are comedians doing joking? We were worried. Would we become Pythons? Would we ever become funny? There is some doubt about that.


Anyway, medical science proves that friendships and social engagements are critical to happiness and aid in longevity. And since A.I. hasn’t cracked the code on friendship yet, it still requires humans.


Next week, we hope to assemble more Trailheads for our hike. We need as many bodies as possible to continue our search for Truth and Barbecue, and we may do silly walk hikes in honor of Cleese and the Ministry Of Silly Walks.




Rating: Four Ribs*

Community Q BBQ

1361 Clairmont Rd. 

Decatur, GA 30033



*About Our Barbecue Rating System

Trailheads do not claim to be food experts, epicureans, or sophisticated palettes. We are hungry hikers who attack a selected barbecue venue and ravage our way through whatever smoked fare and fixings they're dishing. 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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