For all travelers, the Great American West is another world, a planet unto itself beyond a border marked by the formidable peaks of the Rocky Mountains.
Stepping gingerly among the rocks, the horse plunges its hooves into the still-fresh snow that accumulated overnight. The sun rises slowly over the mountains, its crystalline light caressing the steep slopes of Arapahoe Basin, where a few early skiers are already out for a run. The powdery snow of the Rockies is perfect for skiing, especially in Aspen or Keystone, Colorado, or at the Whitefish or Big Sky resorts in Montana.
Three days a week, the farmers of Napa Valley sell their produce directly to the public in San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza. The market is a ritual for many local residents, who bring the entire family for a stroll among the stands overflowing with fruits and vegetables, cheeses, plants and flowers. The sights (and flavors!) of this veritable cornucopia bear witness to the region bounty of California — especially Napa Valley, a fertile enclave protected by the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains, whose name evokes the sagas of venerable families and their love of the land.