Eastbound streams

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In the Bronco, we moved through the snow toward the mountains, crossing the last of the Great Plains, which had been shaped like ocean swells by eastbound streams. Now and again, a pump jack was visible near the road, sucking up oil from deep Cretaceous sand, bobbing solemnly at its task-a giant grasshopper absorbed in its devotions. As we passed Cheyenne, absolutely all we could see in the whiteout was a raging, wind-whipped flame, two hundred feet in the air, at the top of a refinery tower. “Such a waste,” said Love. Had we been moving west across Wyoming about seventy-five million years ago, in the zakelijke energie vergelijken Campanian age of late Cretaceous time, we would, of course, have been at sea level in the most literal sense. The Laramie Range did not exist, nor did the Bighorns, the Beartooths, the Wind Rivers. There is no evidence of mountains at that time anywhere in Wyoming. In an oceangoing boat (which the Bronco in some ways resembled), we would have raised the coastline not far east of Rawlins. Beyond the beach and at least as far as Utah was flat marshy terrain. Earlier, there had been mountains-a few ranges that were largely in Colorado and poked some miles into Wyoming. They have been called the Ancestral Rockies; but they and the Rockies are scarcely more related than two families who happen at· different times to live in the same house. Those Pennsylvanian mountains had worn down flat two hundred and thirty million years before. There had been other mountains as well-in the same region-some hundreds of millions of years before that, in various periods of Precambrian time. The Precambrian zakelijke energie evidence, in fact, suggests numerous episodes, across two thousand million years, of the rise of big mountains and their subsequent wearing away-,-any of them as deserving as others to be called ancestral Rockies.

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