Last week the Greater Edgewood Area Chamber held its third annual Chamber Chuckwagon to kick off Cowboy Days—a month of events around the area coinciding with the Single Action Shooting Society’s End of Trail competition. 

The Chuckwagon was held at the Founders Ranch Belle Union Saloon.

Founders Ranch is the location for SASS, an organization that provides gun enthusiasts a variety of events, including Sporting Clays, Five Stand and Cowboy Action Shooting. If you don’t shoot, but are a fan of the authentic Old West, there is a museum, stores for Western wear and a wonderful mountain view. It is a lovely facility that harkens back to the days of Billy the Kid and the Victorian splendor of elegant days gone by.

I belong to the Route 66 Arts Alliance and we were graciously given a table as a gift from EPCOR and Mr. Tom Torres of the Chamber. What a gracious gift. In such relaxed environs, it is lovely to see friends, chat, gossip and be together. The Chamber had an interesting Keynote speaker, Jeffrey Candelaria, who hosts a radio show and was both an interesting and dynamic speaker. The Chamber held a silent auction and a live auction. Bill and I participated in the silent auction.

Refreshments included iced tea and lemonade. It just hit the spot on this the first real day of spring. Part of the food was already set up with potatoes, with green chile or not, your choice. They had good cowboy beans, cole slaw, and rolls. The only thing the guests were waiting for were the barbecue main dishes. We waited and waited. It seems the restaurant had a problem bringing the main dishes to the Ranch. After several phone calls, with deft thought and skill, we had the first Vegetarian Chuckwagon dinner. With good cheer, we filled our plates, not feeling deprived.

However, there was speculation as to why a family restaurant with a long history of good barbecue in Albuquerque wouldn’t deliver when they said they would. “They had the wrong date, their trucks got stuck in sand, the weather was wrong, and finally, karma! You can’t fight karma.” These were some of the reasons they gave.

In between the rousing live auction, (with a genuine auctioneer Bobby Rosales) who appeared on HGTV Texas “Flip and Move”; you could hear whispers of why there was, “No Meat!”

In New Mexico that means Area 51 or Roswell.

Protein-starved aliens circled the truck coming out in the canyon. They lit it up with green lights, put the crew to sleep, transported the meat, hiding it behind the moon. They dropped the bones in the moon crater we landed in 50 years, ago blaming NASA.

Here’s another scenario: From Lincoln County, the smell of the great meat was so overpowering it brought “The Kid” back to life and Billy and his buddies hijacked the truck. They ate till they couldn’t move and got a ride back to their graves in a California Cadillac convertible driven by none other than Clint Eastwood. Clint offered Billy a part in the new movie he’s making here, but Billy turned him down. He’s been a star before, “It ain’t that great!”

Maybe it was the weather. There were tornados up northeast, floods threatening Elephant Butte, snow still in Durango, and finally a dust storm between Santa Rosa and Clines Corners. All of those were reasons why there was, “No Meat.”

The evening was a success, veggies or not. Bill and I won, in the silent auction, a gift certificate to a new joint in Moriarty, Wild West BBQ and Santa Fe Trading Co. It may take a while, but we would get meat!

The Chamber dinner was Friday, so Monday, Bill and I drove to Moriarty, but alas, the place was closed. We looked it up on Google, it seems the new place is open Thursday through Sunday. We came back Thursday, and just in time. If they run out of meat, “Oh, well.” They run out.

It was truly some of the best brisket ever (and on weekends they also have chicken). We found the meat! And the sides are good too. We have great barbecue out here. I can also recommend Shorty’s. We filled up, we drove home and took a nap. Let’s face it, on this side of the mountains, we have it all.

Roaring Mouse, sleeping off the veggie coma.