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Utah had  record snowfall this year, followed by a much cooler than usual spring ,the result being a very late and scary runoff season that is usually done by the first of July but this  year has just really started.

I’m a huge fan of history and learning about what once was. Here in Utah we have a deep cultural connection to the past, I attribute much of that to the LDS Church’s strong focus on Genealogy, and maintaining records of events, people, places, etc.  One of my favorite things to photograph and to just be around is running water, and luckily the Salt Lake valley is full of streams and rivers from our (very) nearby mountains. I’ve always loved that many of our parks have rivers running freely through them, one such place is Murray City Park which has the Little Cottonwood river running through it before draining into the nearby Jordan River. Every year it overflows a little, but this year it’s been very severe. I had the day off of work and decided to head over to the park to get a look and then to follow the river to its drainage into the Jordan River which itself drains into the Great Salt Lake. I’ve never actually seen where the two rivers meet and I was curious as to how it would look with this years record water flow.

Unfortunately I had to shoot at mid day, and with a time limit, but here’s a few shots of what I saw.

70mm, f/16, 1/30 sec, iso 100 9 exp HDR

This was the view looking west from one of the higher pedestrian bridges just before the river passes under State Street.  I look forward to showing this view again after the water has dropped to better appreciate how high the water is right now.

Here’s a view of the bridge I was standing on.

90mm, f/16, 1/60sec, iso 100, 3 exp HDR

Farther east towards the middle of the park was this view.

95mm, f/16, 1/13sec, iso 100, 9 exp HDR

Here’s a non bracketed shot showing some of the efforts made to prevent flooding in the park.

3 foot high sandbag wall that’s keeping the central part of the park from flooding

I then followed the river to its drainage into the Jordan river. Salt Lake City has built a wonderful trail along the length of the Jordan river from its headwaters at Utah Lake in the south to the Great Salt Lake in the north so access to the river is pretty easy. Here’s the view of Little Cottonwood creek as it flows  into the Jordan River from a pedestrian bridge. It will be interesting to see this at normal levels.

22mm, f/16, 1/50sec, iso 100, 9exp HDR

The view of the river from the walking path, despite the sandbags it has flooded over its distant bank and onto the path.

22mm, f/16,1/50sec,iso100 3exp HDR

Here’s a view of the Little Cottonwood inlet from the west bank of the Jordan River, showing the pedestrian bridge I shot from earlier.

62mm, f/16, 1/200sec, iso100, 9 exp HDR

I also tried to view the entry point of the Big Cottonwood river which is one block north of the Little Cottonwood river, however when I got to the pathway along the Jordan River that would afford me the best view I was met with this obstacle to getting that view.

The trail was severely flooded, the apartments next to the path were sandbagged all around as well.

A better view of the redundant sign, at least the ducks were using it...

I was very glad that I finally took the time to learn about and explore this fun river, I look forward to re shooting these images in a month or two to really show the differences. I’ll hopefully also be able to explore the river and its tributaries more this summer as I venture up into the mountains for some hiking and waterfall and lake shots.

Happy Independence Day to everyone (even my non american friends) and keep an eye on that water!

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