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Trailheads Ride Storm Out On Michelle Obama Trail, Get Sued By Dylan, And Devour DAS BBQ By The Cemetery.

Updated: Jun 11

Trailheads are a plucky group when they are not lazy sloths. This week, we rallied four members for a “hike” on the Michelle Obama (South River Path) Trail. We last hiked here two years ago––read about it here. It was another week off for our hiking boots since this is a paved trail, and sneakers would do. At the rate we’ve been going lately, we’ll soon be mall walkers.

Guy, our esteemed Trail Master, chose this easy hike due to a knee injury he was nursing (he even had an ice bag to sell the ruse!). Guy played hooky last week with the flimsy excuse of attending his daughter’s wedding. It’s that kind of pliable dedication that leads our band of determined misfits. Pitiful, right? While Guy’s daughter Allie and hubby Josh are a cute couple. a Trail Master should prove he is committed to his task of leading his flock.

George couldn’t join us because he was putting the finishing touches on his ’96 Olympics documentary. That’s a decent excuse, but if Peter Jackson or Martin Scorsese were Trailheads, they’d make every hike. Priorities!

We've sent invitations to both directors. Their people haven’t gotten back to us about a lunch meeting at The Ivy in West Hollywood where, no doubt, they would order "off-menu."

And Roy was absent because his talented wife Karlenne had an art show in Birmingham the night before. We’ve urged her to paint us bravely conquering the treacherous trails, and every time we mention it, she quickly changes the subject. We even comped up a suggestion for her. Artists are on their own wavelength. And she no longer accepts commissions.

But Steve, Brad, Patrick, and Guy (dragging his leg behind him like a dead body) joined the festivities. We pulled into the trail’s parking lot and saw a footwear mystery: a pair of sliders marked by light green paint and a single double-strapped sandal. What?!

We vowed to watch for three bare feet on the trail or perhaps the rare sighting of a three-legged human, but first, we noticed the sky was quickly darkening.

Patrick checked his Weather Channel app (a little late) and saw a green blob peppered with orange and red was fast approaching our area. Had Roy been with us, he would have screamed like a tea kettle on the boil.

He would have checked a week before and come up with an amazingly complicated and elaborate excuse involving international jewelry thieves and stolen nuclear weapons.

Trail Master listened to Patrick’s weather report and said, “So what? It’s nothing. Get moving, slugs!” He and his one working leg shoved us onto the trail. We began marching lest we catch his “fists of justice” to our skulls. He calls these regular beatings “attitude adjustments.” We call them assault and battery. We could have easily outrun him, of course.

Onward, we trekked over the bridge and down the path into a lush canopy of trees and vegetation. "I'm nature bathing!" Steve declared.

The group turned as he spoke and realized he had stripped down to his socks and was seemingly bathing in some unseen aura given off by the surrounding woods. We quickly moved on.

A sign warned us of a “Sanitary Sewer Spill” up ahead. "Sanitary" and "Sewer" seemed at odds to the group. But now we had a storm brewing from above and below––would we make it out of this excursion alive?

The temperature rose, and the humidity was thicker than Grandma’s gravy. We felt the weather system advancing. While Trail Master kept a brave face, the rest of us trembled, fearing the worst fate possible—getting wet. We approached a tunnel decorated with colorful graffiti. Sanctuary!

“This can be our shelter from the storm,” Patrick said.

“That’s copyright infringement,” an attorney for Bob Dylan said, appearing from the bushes and serving a cease-and-desist order.

“Really? But the times they are a-changin’.”

“You did it again,” the lawyer said, serving another order.

“Whoa,” Patrick said. “You may think you’re knockin’ on heaven’s door for legal fees, but it ain’t me, babe. You ain’t goin’ nowhere. I’m like a rolling stone; most likely, you’ll go your way, and I’ll go mine. Listen, if you gotta serve somebody, you’re blowin’ in the wind, buddy. When the deal goes down, all it takes is a simple twist of fate, and I shall be released. So, have one more cup of coffee, pal. All I really wanna do is keep movin’ on. Because a hard rain’s gonna fall, and we don’t need no buckets of rain from you.”

Patrick looked out of the tunnel at the sky and said, "It's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there." The lawyer stormed away in what many would call a “huff,” and Trailheads hiked on and talked about earthquakes, volcanos, and other natural disasters. You know, cheery subjects to lighten the mood.

Steve and Brad discussed the nastiness of the Mt. St. Helen’s eruption years ago. Had Roy been there, he would have told them about Trailhead's friend and his old college buddy, Jerry Gentemann, calling him to describe the scene as he watched from his office. At that moment, Roy wondered if seeing a volcano explode and calling people was the proper thing to do. Perhaps running and screaming would have been a better idea.

Guy mentioned a book he read about 1816 when a volcano in Indonesia disrupted weather patterns worldwide, and the U.S. and Europe had no summer. We agreed human sacrifices are an excellent solution to volcanos. Brad asked if that was when the dinosaurs were killed off. His hiking mates turned and looked at him. He looked back quizzically. They kept walking.

Trailheads came to the end of the Michelle Obama Trail. Guy wanted to keep going (of course), but Brad and Steve insisted it was time to double back. 

“We’ve done two miles already,” they said proudly. “We’ll have four if we turn around now.” These boys are good at math. You should see them when they go all geometry on you. 

“Come on,” Guy said. “Let’s just do another 28 measly miles. It’ll be fantastic.”

His troops immediately turned and began walking back to the parking lot. He followed, whining that he doesn’t get any respect as he adjusted his necktie while sweat beaded on his forehead.

"Get a move on, Rodney!" the others demanded.

THEN, IT HAPPENED!!! The major weather system hit with a vengeance, the sky dumping monsoon-like torrential rain.

We hurried to the tunnel for shelter, and Patrick noticed the reverb inside was amazing. Tempting legal repercussions, he belted, “I am the god of hell and fire, and I bring you fire!” Guy filmed it. Brad said he thought the line was “hellfire.”

Steve googled it, and Brad was right. We hate it when that happens. Patrick resumed his position and did a second take, nailing the line and waiting for lawyers representing Arthur Brown to appear. None did–his crazy world, right? Dylan's attorney popped in, claiming that Bob had co-written the tune, as Dylan had a claim on all the words and music of the 20th Century. The attorney opened his umbrella and was swept aloft in the storm.

Knowing there was barbecue in our future, we called Roy, who was driving back from Birmingham, and told him the lunch destination was DAS BBQ Grant Park. He said he’d meet us there. Smart man—no hiking, just eating.

Trailheads are big fans of both DAS BBQ locations. The Grant Park operation is next to Oakland Cemetery but doesn’t get much traffic from those residents. Although we bet there are a lot of stomachs grumbling from the sweet smell of burning oak. Read about our last visit to the restaurant here.

In the distance, you can see the gold dome of the Georgia State Capitol building. You can also see the Los Angeles skyline if you have excellent eyesight.

To the side are the workhorses of the joint––Cledus, Smokey, and Bandit, the smokers from DAS BBQ’s owners’ Franklin Farms. Feed these babies wood, light a match, load the meats, close the lids, and let the magic happen.

Guy and Steve scrutinized the menu, planning their attack like a war ground assault.

Roy joined our group, and we stepped to the counter to place our orders. We all knew the must-have side was the incredible DAS CORN––cheesy, creamy, packed with a jalapeno kick that doesn’t scorch the tastebuds. 

We sat on the patio and waited for our grub as the dogs enjoyed their water service tableside. 

As each tray arrived, Roy art directed the photography. He is a stickler for getting beautiful candid shots. 

“Give me more feeling,” he shouted to the smoked meats. “I want to believe your mission is to deliver great flavor. More, give me more! Yes! That’s it, yeah, that’s the stuff––emote! Brad, I need a fill card here. Patrick, did you bring the lighting package? Steve, grab a flashlight and make a softbox out of a napkin.”

When he finished filming, we could finally eat.

Brad had the half rack of spareribs and was in pork heaven. The smoky meat was tender, dusted with a flavor-filled dry rub, and generously brushed with savory sauce. His second meat choice was the pulled pork, which was more shredded than pulled. It was a flavorful mound of moistness. 

Guy also had the two-meat combo with the tasty spareribs and the beef brisket. DAS BBQ serves some excellent brisket, which is smoky, tender, and delicious. The stuff’s authentic. No Texas passport required.

Steve went for the Das Dog, studded with spices and cheese, packed with flavor, and adorned with a tasty sauce and grilled peppers and onions, served on a toasted bun so you can easily walk the dog to your mouth.

Fio and Elvis's heads perked up when they heard him say, "That's the best dog I've ever eaten."

Roy had the pulled (shredded) pork sandwich. The mound of tender meat is served on a hearty, tasty bun. He dressed it with sweet Hog Sauce and ate like a king (Roy ordered peasants to be executed).

Patrick had the Pancho & Lefty, two sliders, one made with beef brisket and one with pulled pork. He dressed his mini-sammies with GA Peach sweet mustard sauce and the Hog Sauce. They were delectable bites.

Aside from the amazing Das Corn, we had the Collard Greens, which are slowly stewed in apple juice and spices the day before, so they come to the table ready for business.

Roy approved of the “German-influenced Texas-style coleslaw,” made with light mayo, cider vinegar, and freshly toasted sesame seeds.

Finally, Steve enjoyed his Brunswick Stew. It is hearty and loaded with pulled pork, corn, tomatoes, and spices. Your spoon will enjoy every dip, and your mourn will happily greet every arrival of the tasty cargo.

Patrick noticed a table of cops inside and told the crew we’d better beat it toot-sweet before the law saw us––maybe Dylan’s lawyer dropped a dime on us. 

We posed for a last group shot.

It was a good day. We survived lawyers and the weather but have yet to solve the trail parking lot footwear mystery. If you see three bare feet on the trails, tell them we know where the missing sandals are. Cheers!

Rating: Four Ribs*


350 Memorial Dr. SE

Atlanta, GA 30312

(404) 850-7373


*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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