What do you get when you cross a passion for cruising the back roads of Texas with an intense love for food? Meld them together and you have Scott Terry, otherwise known as the Texas Food Dude.
Terry, a Parker County transplant who has lived in Weatherford for nearly two decades now, turned 50 this year. As do most folks around that time in life, he began to reflect. At one point he realized that there was a whole lot of Texas he has yet to explore.
So the DPS communications officer decided to get more serious about traveling the Lone Star State doing one of the things he loves best - eating.
“My wife and I have been talking about this for a long time and I decided I needed to stop talking about it and do it,” Terry said.
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But that wasn’t all. What makes his journey unique, is that Terry plans on eating something in every county in the state - all 254 of them.
Now that might not sound like a big deal but consider that Texas is 267,339 square miles - or 7.4 percent of the nation’s total area. That’s a lot of miles. In fact Texas' largest county, Brewster, is 6,208 square miles.
What’s equally as impressive is that Terry plans on doing this, while maintaining a job, a home, and all of the things life throws at him, all in one year.
His journey began in May. Just last week, over the Labor Day holiday, he conquered deep west Texas eating in 25 different counties and traveling more than 1000 miles - one way. So for he has 40 counties to his credit.
“I was excited about Saturday’s visit to Fort Hancock,” Terry said. It reminded me of my favorite movies, the Shawshank Redemption, that’s where Tim Robbin’s character crossed the border.”
He said determining where to eat was the fun part to him.
“I drive into a town I’ve never been to before, and I look for mom and pop places to eat - no chains,” he said. “I’ve stopped at some places, I won’t name them, that I wouldn’t take my wife in broad daylight.”
He said he also looks for where his brothers and sisters in emergency service gather.
“Look where there are fire engines, police cars or ambulances...if they are there then it’s good,” Terry added.
He has been methodical about plotting his course, carefully choosing where and when the areas of the state to travel in.
“I won’t go to the panhandle in the spring, or west in the heat of the summer,” he said. “I do plan to visit central Texas and some of the German communities during October though.”
Terry also plans to travel to Brewster County to attend the Terlingua Chili cook-off on Nov. 5.
“I really enjoy rolling into a town wondering where am I going to eat,” he said. “You meet some of the nicest people.”
Terry said he’s been able to control his weight because not all he consumes is a sit down meal. It can be as simple as a cupcake.
In the end he hopes to publish his exploits in a book, but isn’t sure how that will turn out. His real motivation is just to live life to the fullest as he is a cancer survivor. In 1984 he was diagnosed as terminal.
“I was told by a doctor on Oct. 23, 1984 at 2:02 p.m. that I would be dead by Christmas,” Terry said. “Take advantage of every day, it’s a gift.”
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Follow Scott Terry as he travels Texas on Twitter: @texasfooddude
Or at www.Texasfooddude.com