The lookoff

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On the way up to the lookoff, we had stopped at a spring, where I buried my face in watercress and simultaneously drank and ate. Love said that F. V. Hayden, the first reconnaissance geologist in Wyoming Territory, also happened to be a medical doctor, and he went around dropping watercress in springs and streams to prevent scurvy from becoming the manifest destiny of emigrants. Hayden, who taught at the University of Pennsylvania, led one of the several groups that in i879 combined to become the United States Geological Survey. When he came into the country in the late eighteenfifties, he was so galvanized by seeing the composition of the earth in clear unvegetated view that he regularly went off on his own, moved hurriedly from zakelijke energie vergelijken outcrop to outcrop, and filled canvas bags with samples. This puzzled the Sioux. Wondering what he could be collecting, they watched him, discussed him, and finally attacked him. Seizing his canvas bags, they shook out the contents. Rocks fell on the ground. In that instant, Professor Hayden was accorded the special status that all benevolent people reserve for the mentally disadvantaged. In their own words, the Sioux named him He Who Picks Up Rocks Running, and to all hostilities thereafter Hayden remained immune. I remarked at the spring that Love was having nothing to drink. He said, “If I drink, I’ll be thirsty all afternoon.” And now, on the high outcrop, turning again from the Eocene volcanic Absarokas to the Wind River Range (the supreme expression in Wyoming of the Laramide Orogeny) and on to the newly risen Tetons (by far the youngest range in the Rockies), I mentioned the belief of some zakelijke energie geologists that of all places in the world the Rocky Mountains will be the last to be deciphered in terms of the theory of plate tectonics. “I don’t think I would necessarily agree,” Love said. “I think it is one of the more difficult ones, yes. I’ve thought a lot about it. At this stage, I’m uncomfortable with a direct tie-in. Until we have a detailed chronology of all the mountains, how can we plug them into a megapicture of plate tectonics? I don’t want to give a premature birth to anything.” Plate-tectonic theorists pondering the Rockies have been more than a little inconvenienced by the great distances that separate the mountains from the nearest plate boundaries, where mountains theoretically are built. The question to which all other questions lead is, What could have hit the continent with force enough to drive the overthrust and cause the foreland mountains to rise?

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