Magic in Navajo Border lands NORTHWESTERN NEW MEXICO by Sarah Wentzel-Fisher · Photos by Stephanie Cameron
The last weekend in February edible publisher Stephanie Cameron and I, en route to Farmington, faced the blizzard of the decade. We crept along highway US 550 while sheets of ice accumulated on the windshield and in the wheel wells. Despite the less-than-ideal driving conditions, the rare snow-blanketed landscape reminded us that almost any season in New Mexico offers beautiful reasons for a road trip. While most people would consider the southern part of the state borderlands, the truth is, so is the northwest corner. The Navajo Nation, known for its code-talkers and Canyon De Chelly, Monument Valley and mutton, has much to offer to the curious visitor in search of
edible Santa Fe | SPRING 2015
a strong and unique food culture. While our journey only took us to its edge, all of our experiences reminded us how much conflict a border can create—socially, economically, environmentally—and how much opportunity it offers to learn from people who experience the world through a different cultural lens. We looked for local food, and found a little. We sought locals’ perspectives and found individuals deeply committed to their neighbors and their places. For me, hearing their love and passion is really at the heart of what makes a great road trip—these individuals reveal the magic of small, ordinary, off-the-beaten-path places by inviting you in.