One hell of a series

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Under the carbonate valleys and quilted farms, the rock was buried from view. The beauty of the fields against steep-rising forests, the shimmer of April green, was not doing much for Anita. She was in need of a lithic fix. Her fingers tapped the wheel. She reminded me of a white-water fanatic on a meandering stretch of flat river. “No wonder I never did geology in this part of Pennsylvania,” she said again. It had been a long time between rocks. “I’d really like to go to Iran someday,” she went on, desperately. “The Zagros Mountains are another classic fold-and-thrust belt. The thing about the Zagros is that there’s no vegetation. You can see everything. They’re a hundred per cent co-working space utrecht outcrop.” She had scarce uttered the words when the road jumped to the right and through a nameless gap and past a roadcut twenty metres high-Bald Eagle quartzite-and then more and higher roadcuts of Juniata sandstone in red laminations dipping steeply to the west. “I take it back. This is one hell of a series, let me tell you,” Anita mid. More rock followed, rock in the median, rock right and left, and we ran on to scout it, to take it in whole. The road was descending now through gorges of red rock-the results of precision blasting, of instant geomorphology. Their depth increased. They shadowed the road. And in their final bend was the revealed interior of a mountain, geographically known as Big Mountain. There had been a natural gap, but it had not been large enough, and dynamite had co-working space amsterdam contributed three hundred thousand years of erosion. The entire mountain had been cut through-not just a toe or a spur. “Holy Toledo! Look at that son of a bitch!” Anita cried out. “It’s a hell of an exposure, a hell of a cut.” More than two hundred and fifty feet high and as red as wine, it proved to be the largest man-made exposure of hard rock on Interstate So between New York and San Francisco. It was an accomplishment that might impress the Chinese Geological Survey. “When you’re doing geology, look for the unexpected,” Anita instructed me, forgetting the Zagros Mountains.

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