These photographs were made at Lake Keechelus along Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountain range of Washington State. A former passage point for Native Americans, the old growth forest surrounding the lake was clearcut after the pass was shown to white explorers. Snoqualmie Pass now hosts Interstate 90. In the early 20th century Keechelus was dammed to regulate water flow for irrigating farmland in Eastern Washington. The dam increased the volume of the lake more than tenfold, drowning its surrounding ecosystem and strangling the water supply to Kachess Lake further down the pass, causing devastating effects on Kachess' marine life.
As the reservoir fills and empties the stumps are submerged annually, a cycle which has thus far preserved them for a century.
Keechelus seems to be a liminal place, existing between our realm and some other. Continuing to revisit the lake over the years means becoming aware of different rates of time occurring simultaneously. Without a living root system holding the land together streams alter their paths changing the topography weekly, even daily during heavy rains. Over the years the dead, but very present, stumps inch their way down from their purgatorial existence toward the depths of the lake where they will eventually disappear altogether.
K E E C H E L U S