The Chili Cookoff, Terlingua, Texas

Monday, November 5th, 2007

 Did we jump by leap and bound from the “Day of the Dead” to the “Day of… the too much alive” maybe? That was yesterday at the Chili Cookoff… Today, truly amazing as I stood outside this afternoon, fast forwarding the time past the massive exodus of RV’s and travel trailers onto the only road out of town, and besides my ears still ringing, a complete silence had taken over. I can see the road to the Park from here, I can see the Ghost Town… nothing and no one. I think if I would have rolled into town today I might have thought everyone had left! But finally some movement, some voices, some riders down the empty path…

The cooking at the Chili Cookoff ended at noon when all 320 cooks turned in their “chilis”. It was the end of a long road for all, they have to accumulate 12 points throughout the year at the many scheduled events to attend this one. This is the World Championship… the big one. Most have their awnings set up, personal decorations, ingredients, customized little propane stoves… The anticipation of the results showed on their faces, their expression, the competition I hear is fierce, and at the same time it is all done for fun and Charity. Most booth had their leftovers mixed with beans by now for the public to walk around and taste, as I did!

It is not a cheap adventure, there are entry fees for each competition, travel, fuel and dues expenses… and yet I keep thinking, as I have never after 40 years of cooking made a “chili”, that it would be something for me to tackle… As I tasted some, I really could not tell much difference amongst them, much salt has been the common denominator, I need to give it some thought… “Beemerchef” at the “Chili Cookoff”, has kind of a nice ring to it? A “Spirited” recipe?

The fun part was the “showmanship” displays, all in the same area. As you can tell from the pictures, much thought has gone into the ideas… much! Enough to leave some speechless… amazed… a Mardi Gras in motion?

… the “Redneck Olympics” show

… the “Mash tent” show complete with wheelchair races

… the “Caveman” show

… the “Medicine man” show

… more tame was Uncle Sam

… the Hawaiian tourist

… a local Terlingua Band

… a toilet seat guitar up for auction (yes?)

… and most everyone in costume was worth a shot!

… including Elvis

So now it is all over, the Ride for trails, the dual sport ride, the “Viva La Historia”, the “Day of the Dead”, the Chili Cookoff… the skies were dark again last night, undisturbed from any lights, displaying the millions of stars shining upon us, quiet and silent, Terlingua has regained composure… it is time for us to explore more vast and desolated spaces, a couple dirt roads I hear worth their efforts.

Till next time, be well…————————————————-

You contributions more than ever are keeping this site alive. If reading it is worth $1 a month… each one of you can make a difference… the PayPal (contribution) button is above to the right… snail mail address is below. We always “thank you”.

Ara Gureghian

853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245

Naples, Florida 34108

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Ara & Spirit

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4 Responses to “The Chili Cookoff, Terlingua, Texas”

  1. Froggi DOnna Says:

    Great blog…felt like I was there visiting. Love the “characters”…..quirky is good. 😉

  2. David Engwer Says:

    Hi Ara & Spirit,
    Last time Margo, Kyle, and I saw you, we were headed for Shafter. We found out that the movie, “Andromeda Strain”, was partially filmed at Shafter. After returning home, we watched the movie, and sure enough, the town was featured in the movie. If you ever make it to Shafter, could you take a picture of the church with the mountain in the background, and post it? As the local residents were used as extras in the film; if you talk to some of the older residents, you may find one that was in the movie, or remembers the movie. We are enjoying your site, and loving the pictures and the narrative. We will be in Fort Davis in May, and we hope to run into you again. Let us know if you are still working at La Kiva, and we can catch you there, and hopefully sample some of your fine cooking.
    Till the next time,
    David, Margo, & Kyle

  3. Ginny Says:

    Chili is good stuff and this looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  4. Debi Says:

    Hey Ara & Spirit!
    I have been reading your blog for awhile now & really enjoy the stories & photographs. I saw you Monday (Nov. 5) around noon as I was leaving the chili cookoff. I was the lady in the teal green Ranger….waving like crazy! I was so excited to see you, but no time to turn around & actually meet you both.
    I was hoping to get the chance to see you when I was there. Oh well, maybe next year!
    Good luck in your travels!
    Debi

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