Home >> Human Geography >> Italy 362 to The Continents The Globe >> The Continent 35_P1

The Continent 35

coal, city, called, river, miles, look and country

Page: 1 2 3

THE CONTINENT 35. Size.—We live in North America. It is a large continent. Only two conti nents, Africa and Asia, are larger. Did you ever walk three miles? Five miles? If you walked ten miles a day, it would take you about ten months to walk across the continent of North America from Atlan tic City on the east coast to San Francisco on the west coast. (Figs. 198 and 49.) From what ocean to what ocean would you go? Let us imagine we take such a journey in an automobile, going one hundred miles each day. We shall be a month on the road, and all that time shall be in our own country, the United States. We shall see places that are very different from each other, and we shall find that many different kinds of land make this one great country.

36. The Atlantic Plain.—Let us start from Atlantic City, a great pleasure city or resort, built on the sandy shore by the side of the sea. Here people go for vaca tions, to see the ocean, to bathe in it, and to breathe the fine, salt sea air. Near Atlantic City, we find the country to be level, or nearly level,—a plain we call it. As this level land is near the Atlantic Ocean, it is called the Atlantic Plain. You can look in all directions for many miles and not see a hill as high as a man's head. We meet many people in automobiles, who are enjoying the good level roads. Toward evening of our first day's journey, after crossing the Delaware River, we see rolling hills, and pass green fields, houses, and villages.

37. The Eastern Highland.—On the second day, we see long, steep hills a thousand feet high, so high that it would take us several hours to climb on foot to the top. Such very high hills are called mountains. If we could look down on these mountains from very high up in the air, they would look something like the peaked roofs of long sheds. They are called ridges or mountain ranges. (See Fig. 46.) From the top of one ridge we can look across and see another ridge, and another beyond that, all of them forest covered. We can also look down at the lower land, or valley, between our ridge and the next. The top of the mountain on which we stand is a divide between the streams on each side of it. On one side of the mountain we find a place where one of these streams starts as a tiny brooklet of clear water running out of the ground.

This is a spring. Big rivers sometimes start in little springs.

Our automobile road follows a stream that has worn a narrow path or valley through these many ridges. High hills seem everywhere, and they are almost entirely covered with trees. - We are in the Appalachian Highland. After a while we come to a place where men are bring ing little cars, loaded with coal, right out of the hillside. (Fig. 200.) The coal is dumped into freight cars on the railroad tracks. There is a layer of coal under that hill, and men called miners go in under the ground and dig out the coal.

We pass through many villages and towns where miners live, and we see build ings having tall smokestacks from which clouds of smoke roll out. We reach a great city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is some times called the Smoky City because the factories there burn so much coal. The city is on a river, the Ohio River. On it we see steamboats and flatboats loaded with coal ready to float downstream to other cities far away from the coal mines.

38. The Mississippi Valley.—Soon after crossing the Ohio River, we come again to level country. This plain is called the Great Central Plain. For several days, we ride across this flat land. It seems never to end.. On both sides of the road are farmhouses and big barns, and fields of corn, wheat, oats, hay, and grass. (See Fig. 79.) We see cows, horses, sheep, and pigs in the fields, and chickens catching grasshoppers by the roadside. People are working in the fields. We meet many automobiles and pass through many vil lages and small towns. We often cross railroads, and there is a line of telephone or telegraph poles along nearly every road we see. After riding for several days through this rich country, we cross a wide, muddy river, the Mississippi. Here at Keokuk, Iowa, men have built a dam of cement that holds back the mighty river and makes it form a great waterfall, higher than a two-story house. Because of the mighty force of this fall, the water can be made to run waterwheels to make elec tricity, which is carried by wires to many distant towns.

Page: 1 2 3