Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chugwater Chili

I love being at home but there's something about being on the road that provides these unique little surprises and like I said in my last post, is just inspirational because every place has a story and every story only makes me ask - what if?

Less than an hour down the road from Douglas, Wyoming, is the quiet little village of Chugwater.  We would have flown, or driven, if you prefer, right by except for the intriguing billboard announcing Chugwater Chili.  What was intriguing about it?  Well, it wasn't the typical hotel, motel or fast food advertisement, plus it was all alone with only rugged wilderness surrounding it.  That got our attention, plus it was lunch time and we were hungry and truly sick of another variation of "fast food".   And, well, a confession, we'd tried out the same chili last year.  So we hit the exit ramp and you know, you just can't pass up those opportunities.

Chugwater Chili has an interesting story - check out their website if you're interested.  But it appeared to me like a small place collaborating with each other to succeed.  Because besides the chili there were Chugwater t-shirts, spices and other parapanalia and an inventory of books propped in holders on tables. 

Last year there was a gas station, this year the sign outside of Douglas warned of a 65 mile drought as far as gas.  The waitress in
Chugwater was quick to tell us the story of a man who drove into the building.  The aftermath?  Well, the gas station is no more, the culprit has been detained and people are out of work as a result.  Not a pretty story and I suspect one that went deeper than the short version we got while paying for our meal.

Despite what was probably a major financial hit for the residents of Chugwater, it carries on.  So if you're in the vicinity I'd definitely recommend it as a much more colourful dining experience than one offered by any of the available chains. 

Not only that but the chili was tasty!

Now I'm sitting in front of a wood fire in the heart of Santa Fe - and well that's another story.


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