About the History

A History of the Upper Yough is a narrative in two arcs. The first is a story about a river, a destination, and the people that make it special. It’s about a kayaking community that, over a span of fifty years, has formed around the river. It’s about a river gorge that is both rugged and accessible; where you can feel alone one minute, and surrounded the next. And it’s about the people that surround you, the characters that have defined themselves by their achievements and mishaps, leaving lasting legacies behind.

The second arc is what would have prevented the first story from ever happening. Massive logging operations, numerous planned dams, and acid mine drainage that threatened the gorge’s pristine nature. It’s also about a region that has always turned to Garrett County for its resources, and so rarely thought about the consequences of those actions.

But most importantly, it is about where those two arcs intersect. The boaters and townspeople that worked to save the river and make it a destination. To make it something special; a place worth telling a story about.

About the Producer

Chris Preperato

322445_584927923111_1587664584_oChris Preperato has been kayaking and making films for the better part of two decades. His first experience boating was in the center of his parents canoe at the age of 10. He began making films in his sophomore year of high school, though many of them, fortunately, no longer exist. Today, he is the lead video editor at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. He earned his BA in Communication Arts from Allegheny College, specializing in Video Production. In addition to his work at CHNM, he has produced a seven-part radio mini-series, and has been accepted into several film festivals for his short documentaries Wide Awake and Michael.

He began paddling the Upper Yough in 2004, and has logged well over 70 trips down the river.