The subsummit surface

Gerelateerde afbeelding

Moving even farther from the interstate on the subsummit surface, we came upon a granite pyramid, sixty feet high, sixty feet wide at the base. It had been designed by the architect H. H. Richardson and weighed six thousand tons-enough to prevent its blowing over. We stood in its lee. The wind was coming in pulses that made percussions in the ears. The incongruity of this monument was in direct proportion to its stark isolation. It was Uncle Pete’s version of Interstate So’s Abraham Lincoln. It commemorated the brothers Oakes and Oliver Ames-Massachusetts shovel-makers, railroad zakelijke energie financiers-whose Credit Mobilier of America made construction contracts with itself in enjoying the fruits of subsidy of the Union Pacific Railroad. If you belonged to the United States Congress, you could buy shares of Credit Mobilier stock for fifty per cent of their value. Near the apex of the east side of the pyramid was Oliver’s face in a portrait plaque, sculptured in 1881 by Augustus SaintGaudens, whose William Tecumseh Sherman stands in Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza and Robert Gould Shaw in Boston Common. Saint-Gaudens’ plaque of Oakes Ames was on the west side of the pyramid, facing the wind. The monument had been built beside the Union Pacific at the railroad’s highest point, but the railroad’s highest point was somewhere else now; the alignment had been changed in 1901, and the track was three or four miles away. The original roadbed had become so indistinct that a geologist was required to point out where it had been, which he did. Oakes’ nose had been shot off with a high-powered rifle. Oliver’s nose had been zakelijke energie vergelijken shot away, too, and a large part of his face. Love remarked that Greek, Roman, and Saracen vandals broke off the noses from pieces of sculpture. Probably the Vandals did, too. Back on the interstate and just west of Abraham Lincoln, the rock became younger again, as we left the Precambrian range core and encountered the same Pennsylvanian red sandstone that had leaned on the mountain on the other side. It was rich red, and the cuts were very big as the road plunged through them in christie turns, running down the mountains through Telephone Canyon. Somewhere overhead had been the first telephone wire ever strung across the Rockies. The President of the United States, with a dozen horses and companions, rode up Telephone Canyon on his way to Cheyenne in i903. His mustache was an airfoil with a fineness ratio that must have impressed the Wright brothers.

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