It explores the rich history of river running in Utah.
From the thrill of the rapid to the serenity of the scenic banks, rivers in Utah are a draw for today's tourists as well as for the pioneers in river running.
The earliest ones are 1871 when John Wesley Powell went down,” said Roy Webb, who has spent the last three decades documenting the rich love of rivers in Utah and is the archivist behind the "Rivers and Dams of the Colorado Plateau,” an exhibition featuring a wealth of materials such as pictures, letters even a 1940's life jacket all chronicling the history of river running in the Intermountain West.
Those exploring Utah’s rivers in the old days had unique challenges.
“Cameras and water and rivers didn't really mix because you have a film camera that has a lot of moving parts,” said Webb. “They had such a long exposure that when you take a picture of a rapid you don't see the water, you see a flow moving around the rocks, so it's kind of fun to look at.”
Today capturing the river's beauty is much easier-- leading to booming tourism economy.
“Today river running is a huge multi-million dollar business,” said Webb. “It's a big part of the economy in places like Moab and Vernal.”
The industry and technology may have changed Webb said, but what drew the early runner rivers more than 140 years ago remains the same.
“The intimacy of being on the river, you get to know people really well,” he said. “It's kind of like your everyday life drops away and you come closer to nature and your companions on the river.”
You can see the river running exhibit at the J. Willard Marriot Library through September 13.