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Friday, August 28

Running on Empty (Jackson Browne)

If you've ever seen a John Wayne movieForrest GumpThelma and Louise or even Back to the Future 3, you've been to Monument Valley, and you may not have known it.  {Forrest ran through Monument Valley as Jackson Browne sang 'Running on Empty.'}

Why is it called Monument Valley?  Well, it's because they have monuments, carved by forces of nature over millions of years.  For centuries, they've been revered as hallowed by the native peoples. 

Other films set in the iconic western region are:
Hollywood filmmakers are not alone in their love affair with The West, with this inimitable landscape of grandeur.  Travelers the world over flock to the Utah/Arizona border. In fact, estimates at Gouldings Lodge and Museum suggest that only 10% of visitors to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park are American.  The other 90% hail from Europe and the Orient.  Wow!

We found very few people, as we drove the Valley floor and took in the beauty, who spoke English.  Amazing and inspiring that so many flock to our country's great sites!

My boys are actually pretty darn good with their geography...mainly all the travel, reading, and living it!  We also pick up these Which Way USA books for each state we visit or travel through.  The Rand-McNally Kids' Atlas has great maps that correlate with each state, and are really kid-friendly!

Now, I have to introduce those of you who are not in the know to a delectable area treat....Navajo Fry Bread!  This lovely lady sold us a loaf AND offered me the recipe after my family enjoyed every morsel.

It's a staple on the Najavo Reservation......and extremely popular with tourists!

Fry Bread

Makes six servings
  • 2cups all-purpose flour
  • 1tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1cup steaming tap water
  • vegetable oil (for frying)

  1. Mix ingredients together with a fork in a medium bowl. (will be sticky)
  2. Liberally grease your hands with vegetable oil and shape dough into a ball. Leave dough in bowl and cover with a towel and set in warm place for at least 20 minutes, but leaving longer makes the bread fluffier.
  3. When you are ready to make the bread, heat vegetable oil, at least 1 inch deep or deeper in a frying pan or electric skillet. (around 375 degrees) Test a small ball of dough in grease, it should float in grease, not sit on the bottom.  If it doesn't immediately float, oil is not hot enough.
  4. When oil is ready, grab a ball of dough a little bigger than a golf ball and stretch out in your greased hands until dough is flattened out about the size of a large cookie. Poke a small hole in the center of the dough with your fingers, and carefully lay in the hot oil.
  5. Let dough brown to a golden brown before turning over and frying other side.
  6. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.
Today's guest writer, Chris, writes for Campfires & Cleats.  You can find her on Facebook.