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Terlingua International Chili Cookoff
11-04-2014, 23:54 (This post was last modified: 11-05-2014 13:56 by Arcticdude.)
Post: #1
Terlingua International Chili Cookoff
We spent the last week in Lajitas, Tx, just down the road from Terlingua and just outside Big Bend National Park. If you've never seen a south Texas nighttime sky, you really should put it on your bucket list. When you get outside of the cities, the light pollution gets low enough to allow you to see stars you never knew existed. We got into town with the new moon, so the skies were truly incredible. The Milky Way was truly the Milky Way! With just a set of binoculars, you can see some incredible sights. Unfortunately for sky watching, the moon was headed into the full cycle, so you had to wait until very late 3-4 am to get good viewing as the week progressed.


Fortunately, the 48th Terlingua International Chili Cookoff was kicking off, so there was plenty to see and do by week's end! Terlingua is a great place to go to lose the current societal direction. There's very little cell service and what there is is poor at best. I'm thinking I probably say next to Jimmy Hoffa, Elvis and many honest politicians, as they were in comfortable hiding.

Terlingua is home to one of the major mercury mines that operated in the country. Very unique geography and history. It definitely worth going back to when the chili cookoff is not going on, just to see how life truly goes on.

Interestingly enough, a multimillionaire tried to create an upscale planned community in 2003 or 2004 in Lajitas. There are some really neat features there and it's a neat place to stay.

Of course, the highlight of the cookoff was really cool. The daughter of the founder from 48 yrs ago is still involved in one cookoff (there are 2, as somebody got p'o-d ~25 yrs ago and they ran 3 miles down the road and started their own cookoff-a story in and of itself! Wink ), so it's a very unique local but universal festival.


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─░mage

John Mace
96 42 big bird
living in the wild hinterlands of the north
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11-05-2014, 02:49 (This post was last modified: 11-05-2014 13:33 by GregOConnor.)
Post: #2
RE: Terlingua International Chili Cookoff
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Gregory O'Connor
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11-05-2014, 09:33
Post: #3
RE: Terlingua International Chili Cookoff
we will attend next year

Ernie Ekberg
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Weatherford, Tx
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11-05-2014, 14:14
Post: #4
RE: Terlingua International Chili Cookoff
We stayed at the Maverick RV Ranch in Lajitas. It's just far enough away, that you don't have to see any of the cookoff, if you don't want to. There's only two places in Terlingua to stay and both are gravel parking lots with hookups. The dust will invade everything in the coach at either place. Maverick Ranch is paved and has concrete pads, so things will stay much cleaner. I never found the drive (~7-8 miles) to be an issue. The police presence is high, so be careful driving any where in the area. This is especially true starting Wednesday and ends Sunday during the cookoff.

The "Behind the Store" is the original cookoff, going on 48 years now. The other, CASI (chili appreciation society international) is down the road a little ways- closer to Lajitas. The original has the flavor of a small town festival that's grown a bunch, while CASI gets closer to a Sturgis feel. To give you an idea of the difference, there was one Sheriff's vehicle at the original on Saturday night and one came and only stayed about 15 minutes on Saturday night. CASI has numerous Sheriff's vehicles there from Friday thru early Sunday morning. Of course, it may be that the Sheriff's Dept likes the view!

Anyway, it's worth going to at least once. There are entrance fees to each cookoff. Big Bend is enjoyable to spend time in and is worth the trip. You can also walk into Mexico, if you desire. (The locals will try to get the dollars as much as they can.) Funny how there are signs all around stating that illegal border crossing is subject to a $5000 fine, yet the Mexicans come and go, doing so quite visibly with minimal intrusion by the border patrol.

John Mace
96 42 big bird
living in the wild hinterlands of the north
free to roam without the man getting me down
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11-08-2014, 00:14
Post: #5
RE: Terlingua International Chili Cookoff
This was a real neat rally, with lots to see and do. Just don't forget to bring all your needed liquids for the week as they are pretty expensive to buy out there, like $25.95/case for the cheap beer that you get at home for $16-17, and wine was typically double what you normally see in civilization. WalMart was only 5+ hours away in Odessa according to a park ranger.

I was pleasantly surprised by the pristine old iron that Steve would have drooled over in Terlingua. Apparently that dry desert air serves them well. I found this, maybe not so pristine, "Grateful Dead" bus in back of a Terlingua hotel. It seemed to fit in very well in that time warp of a place. Looks like Miami Beach was their next stop; maybe in it's next life.
─░mage

With the leading edge of that hurricane coming in from Mexico on Sunday, the tail wind made for a spirited ride heading north, but then it tried to blow us off the road once we hit IH-10 and turned east and caught the winds full on from the south side. Cranked in an eighth of a turn on the wheel to stay straight, with full quick quarter turns when gusts came. I followed an 18 wheeler as my early warning system: when he crossed the center line, I knew another big gust was coming; when he went on the right shoulder, I knew a sheltered dead air spot was coming. After several hours of that in the early dark after the time change we called it quits for the night. The winds even rocked the bus some when we stopped for the night at a rest area. Interesting and tiring drive all the way home, since the winds continued the next day also.

If you get a chance to go to another rally out there, it is worth the ride, but I wouldn't do it just for a weekend trip.

Mike Bulriss
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San Antonio, TX
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