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Camping during the Terlingua Chili Cook Off? Backroad travel?

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Offline Fox60

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Camping during the Terlingua Chili Cook Off? Backroad travel?
« on: December 20, 2015, 11:12:01 AM »
Greetings!  First time poster Fox60 here. 

I've had some familiarity with BB since my hardrock mining exploration days +30 years ago.  One of my bosses spent some time looking at mercury prospects outside of Terlingua and I personally actively considered applying to Sul Ross St for summer field camp and for grad school.  I have to admit that the "Badlands, Texas" miniseries has spurred a renewed interest on the part of both self and wife.  We really enjoy remote, out-of-the-way places, hot springs, and a good old-fashioned spectacle, and we think Brewster and Presidio Counties might can provide all 3 before and during the November Chili Cook Off. 

We're thinking of doing a loop through BB country by driving Pinto Canyon Rd (FM2810) from Marfa to Chinati Hot Spring, spend a couple of nights, drive from there over to Terlingua along FM 170 on the Tuesday before the chili cook off starts, stay there through Saturday night, and drive through BBNP from Study Butte to Persimmon Gap as we leave on Sunday morning.  We run a F350 SRW 4WD longbed Crew Cab and tow a 19' long hardside A-frame popup camper.  The camper is marketed as an "off road" popup and it rides on 15" AT tires/wheels providing a good 16-18" clearance all around.  It has already seen some fairly knarly Forest Service roads and trails in Montana and Wyoming.  We're completely self-contained with 23 gallons of onboard water + 4 x 7 gallon Reliance cubes, propane hot water, popup shower enclosure + porta potti, and dual batteries + solar + a Honda gennie to recharge if need be.  We think the nights will be cool enough to be comfortable without A/C, which for our little popup requires a 30 A electric hookup. 

The general idea would be to stay put while at Chinati, set up somewhere with good walking access to the Chili Cook Off at Terlingua, and spend some of the time from Wednesday through Friday doing a river run, some hiking, some backroad driving, and some hanging around in the Ghost Town.  The hiking could include some high points within BBNP and the backroad driving could include a visit to the riverside hot spring within BBNP.  It definitely looks like a lot of time could be spent getting from Terlingua-Study Butte to points deep within BBNP, so maybe we'd have to save the River Road and RGV for another time and look at BBRSP for a backroad loop more easily accessed from Terlingua. 

I believe one of the Terlingua area campgrounds is right next to the Cook Off site (BJ's?).  What I haven't determined is if camping is allowed ON the Cook Off site.  It also looks like La Kiva is re-opening their campsites, but it's not clear as to whether or not a camper trailer can use those sites.  It definitely does look like it might be tough to find a campsite which would allow walking access to the Ghost Town, the Cook Off site, and La Kiva.  We don't consider a mile or so to be too far, but much over a mile might be a challenge, especially after having spent some time sampling the local bowls of red and pints of brews.  We can and do bring MTBs for non-driving getting around, but similar post-sampling challenges can affect cycling as much as walking.

So, any thoughts, suggestions, and recommendations would be welcomed.  We're obviously just starting to get our feet wet in the process and the opinions of veteran Benders is most valued.  Many thanks in advance.




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