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Travelling with Emma Phillips – Snoqualmie Pass, Washington

Emma is studying English and Philosophy, and is currently doing a year abroad in Vancouver, British Columbia. Emma’s traveling photography keeps getting more and more recognition, Urban Outfitters just proclaimed her Artist of the Week ! 

Have a look into the universe of a future photostar. 

 

“It was our first trip in the new car. We had recently purchased a second-hand 1996 Volkswagen Golf. The clutch had nearly burnt out, so it was slow up hills. We left in the dark. The car was small and crammed full of people. We rolled down the windows and smoked, the air outside was cold and sharp. Snow lay thick on the ground.

There was a full moon and no clouds. We drove through a forest, and you could see the sharp, black outlines of pines and a thin grey mist. I pulled back the miniature sunroof and looked up at the stars. The car radio wasn’t working, so we played music on a portable speaker.

When we drove through the mountains, it seemed as bright as day. The moonlight reflected off the snow and shapes were formed by light and shadow. Everything was a monochromatic grey. There must have been a meteor shower that night because I counted at least ten shooting stars. The drive was quiet, and there was a strange and beautiful stillness between the peaks. We seemed so small in such a large space.

When we reached Snoqualmie Pass, we couldn’t find the driveway to our cabin. It had been covered by at least a meter of snow. As we walked on top of it, our bags and feet sunk. Being that high off the ground meant we were close to the Pine trees, and the needles kept scratching my arms. It was below freezing. Around the corner, hidden from the road, stood our cabin. It was a pointed, wooden triangle, buried deep within the white. The moonlight reflected off its unlit windows.

Inside, there was an open-plan kitchen and living room. The far wall was triangular and made of long, rectangular windows. Through it, you could see the shadows of pines and slopes. The trees seemed so far beneath us. There was a single, black log-burner with a chimney that stretched all the way up to the roof. The rooms above were set upon a balcony. The next day we all sat around the table for breakfast. There was an open fire burning, and you could hear the logs crackle and smoke. The house smelt rich, of wood and warmth.

On Thursday we walked to Gold Creek Pond. Joel was the only one who wore snow shoes. The rest of us followed behind. The pond was a lot larger than a regular pond and had partly iced up. On top of the ice, there was a thick layer of snow. It was difficult to see where the land ended and pond began, but then the white would suddenly drop into dark water.

There were several ducks swimming between the reeds. You could see the water sliding off their backs, and they left behind a black trail. The reflections of the pine trees in the water were near perfect, the pond was still and deep blue. We sat on a wet bench and watched the mountains turn yellow and grey in the setting sun.

The next day was cloudy, and we went skiing. I hired gear and wore jeans instead of ski trousers. I had brought my ski jacket in a thrift shop. I hadn’t been skiing in at least four years. The first lift we went on was unstable and high off the ground. There was no bar in front, and I felt that if I leant forward, I would fall. We were carried up into the clouds, and when we skied, you could hardly see a few metres in front.

I was the worst skier there, and I was almost immediately put on the black slopes. It was great to feel the wind and hear the silence. At one point I had to take off my ski’s and walk back up the slope because the drop was too steep. We skied over powder and between pines. When we stopped for hot chocolate, we sat around a fire pit. My knees and ankles ached.

In the afternoon the clouds cleared and you could see the mountain range. Rhys and I decided to stay for the night skiing. The snow got icier, but there were fewer people on the slopes. The lights turned the snow a strange yellow. Back at the cabin, it was warm, and we ate veggie burgers and watched David Attenborough with wine.

On the way back we stopped for Mexican in Seattle. The sky was bright blue, and the high-rises were doused in a bright orange light.”

 

 

Check out Emma’s work on : https://www.fromseatosky.co

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