President Obama and the First Lady made a surprise visit to 12 Bones smokehouse in Asheville, North Carolina this afternoon, which had seen another surprise visit from then-candidate Obama in October 2008. (12 Bones appears to be well-liked by most.)
The Obama mingled with customers and staff, posed for photos and eventually ordered two rib plates, and given order number 99. From the pool report, the precise order per Bill Burton was:
Ribs, greens, baked beans, corn pudding, mac & cheese and corn bread. All washed down with a couple of sweet teas.
About those ribs…deputy press sescretary Bill Burton tweeted during the meal:
Plates of ribs here at 12 Bones Smokehouse give new meaning to ‘too big to fail’
When the Obamas left 12 Bones, a crowd had gathered on the corner, a few with “Welcome” signs, and a couple that read: “We love Sasha” and “Howdy Malia.”
Next the Obamas went for a post-BBQ hike, to work off some of that great food.
From the pool report:
After a more than hour-long hike that your pooler didn’t get to (or have to, depending on your view of hikes) go on, the president and the first lady emerged from the trail off of Blue Ridge Parkway at 4:34 p.m.
A string of sweaty USSS agents and support staff emerged first. POTUS and FLOTUS, each carrying a bottle of water, exchanged a few words with a couple of rangers at the top of the trail. Marvin Nicholson was also at there waiting.
Neither of the first hikers seemed winded, and FLOTUS, who had on a tank top and her shirt around her waist, even did a light jog to their SUV.
Bill Burton sends along this anecdote from POTUS and FLOTUS’s hike:
Quote from chance encounter with an elderly woman on the hiking trail. They stopped briefly to say hi.
“Are you who I think you are?
You just made my day. You just made my year!”
Burton says the first couple encountered about 4 other hikers.
The White House says the Obamas have no public plans while in North Carolina, although the president will speak at Sunday’s memorial in Beckley, W.Va., for the victims of the worst U.S. coal mine disaster in 40 years. The April 5 explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine took 29 lives.
The Obamas plan to return to Washington on Sunday evening.
Photos from the first day…
Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama