Thursday, November 10, 2011


In a land full of browns, there is one surprising swath of green stuck in the middle of the West Texas nothingness. A resort community called Lajitas pops up out of this nothingness, and to yuppies like us, it is a welcome site.

Driving west out of Big Bend National Park, past the nothingness, past the mining camps and mobile homes perches precariously amongst the rocks, you will go through a town called Terlingua.

Terlingua is home to the countries largest annual chili cook-off. Maybe you recognize the name from signs decorating the walls of the restaurant chain Chili's. Maybe only I recognized the name because I worked as a server at Chili's for two years.

Terlingua is a town of completely unremarkable dirt. There are mining outfits, tiny resorts for Big Bend visitors, and not much else.

If it's not chili cook-off time, don't bother stopping.

Lajitas was formed by rich people looking to build something ridiculous in the middle of a desert. They have five natural artesian springs allowing a miraculous, and from what I hear spectacularly gorgeous 18-hole golf course. In the middle of nowhere.

There is a hotel, a small outdoor main street with restaurants and bars, shops, and recreation outfitters. There are homes for sale, condos to rent, 4-wheelers to drive, and golf lessons to take.

Out here you can totally believe that the rich and famous come here to hide from the crowds, to play some golf on some beautiful links, and to unwind. There. Is. Nothing. Else. Out. Here.

Except Johnny Depp. Supposedly he and his crew are coming soon to film a new wild west movie. That's cool. Johnny Depp is cute. He'll bring something attractive to this land of dirt.

True, the mountains are spectacular. Like this one, behind our RV campground. Which is also an amenity of Lajitas.

(The campground was almost empty while we were there, but right about NOW, it will be full of people coming for the chili cook-off in Terlingua. And then it will be empty again.)

Look! There's the RV campground, behind the cemetery. I don't really like that. There's too much coyote howling and owl hooting at night to camp that close to an old cemetery.

But the nights were clear, there were no trees overhead to block the view, and the stars were close enough to touch. The Milky Way was our blanket. All in the middle of nowhere.

West Texas vacation continues......