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Youghiogheny: Appalachian River

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The mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania provide the setting for the most popular whitewater in America: the Youghiogheny River at Ohiopyle.  People from all over the nation come to run the rapids, while others simply enjoy the natural beauty of Ohiopyle State Park.  But this Appalachian river has many faces as it flows from its source among the scattered mountain farms of western Maryland to its confluence with the Monongahela in the industrial outskirts of Pittsburgh.  Though always a home to people who cherish their mountain roots, the region’s river offers recreation for millions of Americans.

By canoe, raft, van, and on foot, Tim Palmer explores the river from its highest spring to its industrial end.  He writes about the people - afternoon visitors and eigth-generation natives - and about their pasts and their hopes, about the shaping of the land, and the land’s inevitable shaping of them.

The author chronicles the rise of the five Ohiopyle rafting companies that host 80,000 visitors each year and then takes the reader on one of these outfitted voyages.  Finally, Palmer paddles beyond the Appalachians to the river’s urban end near Pittsburgh.  Strip mining, land development, and recreation management are examined with a consciousness that asks, What will happen to this remarkable but threatened place?

352 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1984

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Tim Palmer

27 books4 followers

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
4 reviews
July 3, 2017
Loved this book! As a local to the area, I appreciated the depth to which Palmer dives into his historical analysis and documentation of my backyard river. His style of writing triggered my nostalgia so many times; I was longing for times I have never seen, but felt through Palmer's writings. The mix of the historical, the geographical, the environmental, the political, the comical, the natural... a fantastic read for anyone interested in rivers, or Appalachia, or history, or cultural resources and the management of these resources at the local, state, and federal level.

I did find myself wishing MANY times that there was an updated version of this text. Things have changed since its writing, and I would love an analysis on those changes (especially political/environmental issues, as well as the new-to-the-book Greater Allegheny Passage - mentioned as a proposed idea but since publication has been executed). Perhaps one day someone will come in and do an updated version of the book, picking up where Palmer left off and building on the large scope of topics that Palmer has introduced here.

Highly recommend for any locals or whitewater enthusiasts!
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5 reviews2 followers
September 10, 2012
This is a great book tracing the Yough back to where it begins and flows through the history of the land and people all the way to the end. It covers mining, land rights and whitewater history.
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews

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