Footprints Of The Great Ice

The glacier that covered most of North America scarred the land, turned rivers in their courses, and deeply influenced our history

A narrow band of very low, very gentle hills extends across the northern states from Cape Cod to the Rocky Mountains in Montana. In places the winds and rains of thousands of years have worn them down to insignificant undulations; in other places they may be a hundred feet high or more. There is nothing about it to catch the casual eye, but the geologist recognizes this ridge as the terminal moraine of North America’s last continental glacier, the line where the ice ended its long advance and began to melt back.

 
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A Record Filled With Sunlight

John Charles Frémont never succeeded in living up to his fame, yet he was one of America’s great explorers

Rolling plains covered with dry bunch grass stretch for miles on every side. Far on the northern horizon lifts an enormous square-topped butte, giving individuality to that quarter of the landscape. Westward, faint in the distance but brought into hard relief as the sun sets, are penciled the snowy peaks of an isolated mountain chain; and close inspection shows that near their base the country dips into a narrow valley, with cottonwoods indicating a stream whose waters are fed by these distant summits.

 
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