"Long after Pangaea divided, periodic episodes of folding and uplift continued to push ancient rock formations to the surface. About 65 million years ago one such geologic event exposed a jagged mass of gneiss and schist that had been buried since the earliest phases of continental movement. Between 39°5’ and 39°7’ north latitude (just northeast of the modern city of Asheville), some of the new mountains formed a fifteen-mile-long semicircle that vaguely resembled a fishhook. The odd formation did not conform to the general southwest-northeast sweep of the Appalachians. Instead, the peaks emerged as a cross range, extending at a sharp angle north and slightly west from the Blue Ridge.
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