Terlingua Dreams

Terlingua Dreams
Governors Landing Campground - Lake Amistad - Del Rio, Texas

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Texas Journey

Got my copy of the September/October 2011 edition of Texas Journey (it is the magazine for AAA members).  On its cover was the Terlingua Chili Cook-Off and a nice cover I might add.  Was looking forward to an equally good article but it was a rather disappointing.

I might of guessed it would be one sided since on the cover it also says “CASI’s annual chili championship heats up the Big Bend”.  While I too attend the CASI event there is another chili cook-off going on at the same time called “The Original Terlingua International Chili Championship Cook-off”.

While the majority of the people in West Texas have heard of Terlingua, that is not the case in the rest of the state.  This would have been a great opportunity to showcase both cook-offs being that they are right around the corner.  November 4th to November 6th to be exact. The writer  Dan Oko barely touches on the history of the event and dedicates a short paragraph to the competition down the road.

Mr. Oko mentions the 2009 and 2010 events and even makes reference to the fact that he interviewed a cook who was working on his laptop (This is the desert, but, heck, it’s 2011- this chunk of desert is Wi-Fi equipped”….hello???  The 2011 cook off has not happened yet ((me rolling my eyes)).

He also calls CASI de los Chisos, the formal name of the “scrappy desert property where the cook-off is held”. 

It could have been a great article but in my humble opinion it was junk.


  1. I agree...the article was lame and fell way short of describing the event.
    As I understand it, the locals all stay home and hunker down during this time, as the tourists crowd all the area extablishments, and even worse they bring in all sorts of lawmen and they are busy writing tickets and stopping folks for and smallest infractions.
    One of Tffnguy's neighbor's wife who used to work at BBMI store, was stopped in her minivan going home with her 14yr old daughter, and delayed 30 minutes while the DPS searched her van on the side of the highway. Found nothing and let her go.
    "Cops gone wild" is the scene during this event in all of south Brewster Co.


  2. Back in the 80's when I lived in Alpine of course we went down ONE DAY. Crashed out in the car after dark and woke up late late night decided to head home. Saw a few cops but back then it weren't near as big a deal as it is now. The cops all knew my car so just flashed lights at me when I went by. Time sure have changed huh?

  3. Funny you should mention chili cook off. Just last night I were think'n of the bestest chili cook off I were ever in. It was held in Port Aransas with contestants from "everywheres". I were dress up in my hobo duds mak'n a complete fool of myself. Drink'n beer and such. Steal'n stick horses and court'n the dance hall girls up there on the balcony. Steal'n stuff from other contestants. Yeah boy howdy, that was a chili cook off to never be forgot. We come in second place that year with our "hobo chili", another one Billy Bob's renowned recipes.

  4. yep , this place is a pretty well kept secret, Im with many of the locals on this one. its best to keep it a secret , but we could use the money during the cookoff. < comment full of grammatically incorrect partial sentences.

  5. Bigfoot - I think you came up with the correct description of the article "LAME".

    When I first starting going to the cook-off back in 1996, there were cops and DPS but nothing like there are now. It's as though they want to bust anyone and everyone.

    That is why I don't venture out of CASI after Wednesday because that is when most of the DPS descends on the area.

  6. Ben - what do you mean you only went for ONE day? The fun part is the camping and meeting all kinds of people from different parts of the state as well as different walks of life.

    Back in the 80's did they have that Border Patrol checkpoint?

  7. Billy Bob - I like your chili cook-off sounds like you had a blast and that's the important part.

    Being that you are self contained with "sally da house" and that it is not as hot in November, have you given any thought to swinging by the CASI cook-off?

  8. Nick - I'm with you about keeping the town a secret but not the event. The people that attend do so either 1) because they participate in the contest 2) to come party for a week or 3) to do both.

    I would say the vast majority fall into category two such as myself and my friends.

    I know a lot of locals do not care for the tourists but most importantly for all the police presence that the event brings. However we do infuse a lot of money into the economy in that short week.

    Another thing to consider is that Terlingua is no longer a secret with all the people that live there that blog daily plus the media that has taken notice and is doing specials on the local notebles.


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