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Trailheads Hike, Duck A Police Dragnet, And Escape To City Barbecue.



As Gilda Radner’s character Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say on Saturday Night Live, “It’s always something—– if it’s not one thing, it’s another.” Her insightful comment applies to Trailheads and their excuses for missing our regular Thursday morning hikes. George, Brad, and Roy apparently had more pressing matters than getting on the righteous path to truth and barbecue.

 


George was off to Mexico and relaxing at some cushy compound with his family. We imagine him on the beach, looking like John Wayne, strolling the sands and kickin' clouds of it into the faces of weaklings. “Make way for a real man, pilgrim,” he’d say, passing by. “And get outta town before I run ya out.”

 


Because George is a world-renowned expert in Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the man who revived the modern Olympic Games, Roy wondered what the Trailheads would look like with the Baron's signature bushy mustache. So, to let George know we missed him, Roy got on his computer machine and gave all of us Baron's stash in his honor. We imagine if you saw this pack of wooly beasts in the woods, you'd reach for the bear spray.

 


Roy was also missing. He is preparing for a vacation with Karlenne to Santa Fe, where he will probably do a rousing rendition of “On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe” for Judy Garland fans. He loves bringing old musical numbers to life. For trivia nuts, earn bonus points if you can name the movie that song is from and its Georgian lyricist. We'll make it easy for you with this hint.



The cash value of our bonus points is $0.00, although if you accumulate enough of them, you'll become the grand prize winner. What's that? It's the admiration and the envy of all. And since we just showed you the movie poster containing the answers, it wasn't exactly a Final Jeopardy stumper.

 


Brad skipped hiking because he was busy doing things around the house. We all have those duties, Brad, but we shirk them to hike. Why do anything when you can just as easily procrastinate? With three members missing, that left the True Trailheads of Guy, Steve, and Patrick answering the bell and assembling at Island Ford Trail, one of our favorites.



Erin and Nicole with Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy met us in the parking lot. It's not often Trailheads have greeting committees, and we liked it. We donated some of our “Hike The Hooch” apparel to the organization’s “Party For The Park” auction, and they were waiting for our merch handoff.



We've got our tickets for the bash, and you can get yours here. You can also buy our Hooch apparel here. Both are great causes because ALL profits support the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Mother Nature needs us. Help.

 


As you may have noticed in the pictures, Patrick has something on his nose. Hidden behind the dark glasses, he is sporting a shiner and numerous nose stitches. Many people suspect this is the result of his lame attempt to usurp the Trail Master last week (read it here). They believe Trail Master Guy cold-cocked the rebellious upstart with a right hook for his failed coup attempt. But the truth is not quite that dramatic.

 


Some suspect the bandaged guy pulled a Roy Tumbles, walked into a tree, tripped on a root, or got attacked by the mad squirrel AI dreamed up two weeks ago. Read that artificially created story here. Keep your day job, AI.

 


The truth is a doctor cut Patrick at The Emory Dermatology Clinic. The medic removed basal cell carcinoma from his nose. Yes, it hurt like hell, Patrick reports, and no, he doesn’t mind if you mistake him for J.J. Jake Gittes in Chinatown with his prominent nose bandage.



But if you touch his sore nose, you can expect him to act like Jack Torrance in The Shining. Run fast; the madman has an ax and writer's block, always a deadly combo. Three of us have gone under the knife in the last few months for Mohs surgery. Our childhoods in the sun are catching up to us.

 


The three dedicated Trailheads walked along the Hooch trail on a beautiful spring morning. Fio was sporting her new, fashionable summer furstyle. After her shearing, the canine beauty looked like she had lost twenty pounds. It's too bad it doesn’t work that way for humans. One needs hair, and lots of it––which leaves out most Trailheads.



If George had been on the trail, he would have suggested aggressive manscaping. That’s how he can get away with wearing his John Wayne Speedo. We're glad George is in Mexico and hope Texas will let him back in.

 


We talked about the excellence of Masters of The Air on Apple TV+. If you loved Band of Brothers and The Pacific, don’t miss this one. Instead of fighting on the ground in Europe and the Pacific theater, this thrilling series is in the air—and it's gripping. The story, acting, and special effects are first-rate. Take flight.

 


Another subject was funerals. We have been to a few of them lately, and we don’t like the idea of dying, so we made a pact not to do it. If that means becoming vampires, so be it. Life’s too short for death. Hey, what’s that on your neck? Come over here and let's have a look-see.



Roy recently misread an obituary and almost showed up on two different days for the same service. We'll just keep moving, folks, because some of us need to stay alive long enough to become literate.

 


Island Ford is a beautiful trail that winds along the Hooch and snakes inland up hills and across a creek. It gives you everything your boots could ever want, but please watch your step because many areas are mined with exposed roots eager to trip you. Lift those feet, soldiers, and march on.



Whistle a tune or break out into a spirited Broadway show tune. Hiking is expression. It’s interpretive walking if you will. Or, if you're passing hikers who don’t appreciate your show tune, it is interpretive running.

 


We had a good hike and returned to the National Park Center. Guy went inside to inspect the shop and buy a pin to wear to The Party For The Park. When we exited, Sandy Springs police and State Troopers were gathering.



We became nervous. Why was Johnny Law on our tail? Did Guy pay for his pin? Did they think Patrick was on the lam and had gotten plastic surgery? Had Steve violated children’s book censorship laws? We stepped lively.

 


“Say, we didn’t do nuttin’, coppers, see?” Patrick said as he passed by the authorities before running full bore to his car and locking the doors. (Doors didn't help Bonnie and Clyde in their movie, did they?) He jumped into the backseat and barked, "Cops are on our tail; step on it! We gotta amscray, toot sweet!!!" Then, he realized he was alone and that he was the driver. Patrick crawled into the front seat, embarrassed and ashamed.

 


Our lunch destination was another favorite, City Barbecue in Sandy Springs (read about a previous visit here). This joint is like a great utility player–-talented, rock solid, and delivering the goods in all positions.



This barbecue joint is also close to many Hooch trails in the area. We wondered if the trail-adjacent strategy was part of their corporate planning. If so, it was a smart move. You had us at “close.” We’re lazy.

 


City Barbecue General Manager Marvin Watts runs a tight ship. The place is always spotless, the service is top-notch, and the food is dependably delicious. They also give senior discounts and have a cool app that saves you money every visit. Sign up for it here.

 


When we entered, who did we see ahead of us in line? Cops! Sandy Springs’ finest. We began twitching, our eyes darting around like pinballs in a machine operated by a coke head on a caffeine jag. We started thinking up our alibis. Would we have to quickly construct makeshift mustaches as disguises? Wait, we've got a photo of that! Where's a whisk broom when you need it?



Fortunately, the police had more pressing matters–-lunch. Guy has attended the Sandy Springs Citizens Police Academy, a nine-week course, and as a result, he considers himself a junior G-man. You can see him on hikes dusting tree trunks for fingerprints or making casts of bootprints.



With the law on our side, we relaxed and placed our orders. City Barbecue has three large smoking beauties out back, with stacks of hardwood fuel at the ready. These babies do a great job coaxing smoke into meats.



Steve and Patrick had pulled pork sandwiches and said they were mighty fine swine. The meat was tender and had a subtle smoky flavor. The pork was heaped high on a toasted bun, waiting to be dressed as you like.



There is an arsenal of delectable City Barbecue sauces ready to do the job. Most Trailheads like to mix personalized sauce concoctions and dress their sammies for fine dining. Then we scarf them down.



Guy ordered the ribs. Although they are St. Louis-style, the ribs are quality ones with much more meat than gristle. They could almost pass as baby backs. Our happy Trail Master picked his bones clean, grinning like a goon.



City Barbecue also has an A-game with its sides. Guy loves their baked beans, which have a sweet and savory flavor and are loaded with pork bits for some extra oomph!



Steve is partial to City’s coleslaw and topped his pulled pork sandwich with a generous crop of cabbage. The slaw cools the heat of the pork dressed with spicy barbecue sauce, just the way Steve likes it.



And injured Patrick had the comfort food of hush puppies for his side dish. No one breeds better puppies than City Barbecue. They are crispy on the outside and loaded with sweet cornbread goodness inside. Crunch, munch, repeat.



City Barbecue is also one of the few barbecue joints serving homemade lemonade. The ice teas and lemonade are in convenient dispensers, so you can mix your Arnold Palmer to your liking. Want more, Arnold? Heavy up on the ice tea (we prefer unsweetened in an AP). Or, if you prefer more Palmer, then lay on the lemonade. We like that kind of control.



Even though we only had half our troops, Trailheads had a grand day of hiking, avoiding The Man and a trip to the crossbar motel, and feeding our faces. And we’re all curious to see Patrick with his bandage removed because many of us believe his surgery was a nose job to throw the cops off his trail.



 

 

 

Rating: Four Ribs*


City Barbecue

6649 Roswell Rd NE

Sandy Springs, GA 30328

 


*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.


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