Generally dramatic

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The change is generally dramatic as one province gives way to another; and halfWay across Pennsylvania, as you leave the quartzite ridges and carbonate valleys of the folded-and-faulted mountains, you drop for a moment into Cambrian rock near the base of a long climb, a ten-mile gradient upsection in time from the Cambrian into the Ordovician into the Silurian into the Devonian into the Mississippian (generally through the same chapters of the earth represented in the walls of the Grand Canyon) and finally out onto the Pennsylvanian itself, the upper deck, the capstone rock, of the Allegheny Plateau. Now even the Exxon map shows a new geology, roads running every which way like shatter lines in glass, following the crazed geometries of this deeply dissected country, whereas, before, the roads had no choice but to run northeast-southwest among the long ropy trends of zakelijke energie the deformed mountains, following the endless ridges. On these transcontinental trips, Karen has driven as much as a thousand miles in a day at speeds that she has come to regard as dangerous and no less emphatically immoral. She has almost never slept under a roof, nor can she imagine why anyone on such a journey would want or need to; she “scopes out” her campsites in the late-failing light with strong affection for national forests and less for the three-dollar campgrounds where you roll out your Ensolite between two trailers, where gregarious trains honk like Buicks, and Harleys on instruments climb escarpments in the night. The physiographic boundary is indistinct where you shade off the Allegheny Plateau and onto the stable craton, the continent’s enduring core, its heartland, immemorially unstrained, the steady, predictable hedreocraton-the Stable Interior Craton. There are old mountains to the east, maturing mountains to the west, adolescent mountains beyond. The craton has participated on its edges in the violent creation of the mountains. But it remains intact within, and half a nation wide-the lasting, stolid  zakelijke energie vergelijken craton, slowly, slowly downwasting. It has lost five centimetres since the birth of Christ. In much of Canada and parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, the surface of the craton is Precambrian-earthbasement rock, the continental shield. Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and so forth-the greater part of the Midwest-is shield rock covered with a sedimentary veneer that has never been metamorphosed, never been ground into tectonic hash–sandstones, siltstones, limestones, dolomites, flatter than the ground above them, the silent floors of departed oceans, of epicratonic seas. Iowa. Nebraska.

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