A damn fine cup of coffee…and hot!
Since introducing Carmel to the enigmatic and mystical world of Twin Peaks several years ago, we wanted to visit some of the location spots that were used, primarily in the pilot episode and reused throughout the series. The iconic Snoqualmie Falls introduces us to the opening credits of the show and leads us down into the swirling pools of the mystery and dark beauty of a small town haunted by ghosts living and dead. One is hard pressed not to feel a bit geeked out seeing these waterfalls in person. Although the back of Salish Lodge is reminiscent of the fictional Great Northern Hotel, the waterfall itself is the main attraction. Staring longingly at the languid, slow moving water dropping down to the Snoqualmie River below, one can’t help but hear the dreamy and deep opening chords of Angelo Badalamenti’s theme.
Feeling dizzied and giddy from watching the Falls, we felt an appetite for some good home cooking and cherry pie at Twede’s Cafe, the exterior used as the meeting place of the Twin Peaks townsfolk at the Double R Diner. Inside Twede’s, they still embrace its Twin Peaks connection with a wall of photographs, newspaper articles and autographs from the show’s creators and actors. Near the cash register, there’s a map proudly posted with the various areas in North Bend and surrounding areas that were used for exterior shots (we opted out of some of the shots including the hospital). Our waitress seemed to know our purpose and teased us after our gigantic lunches with cherry pie and coffee, which we gladly accepted (Carmel and I shared a slice of pie after I bravely ordered the Twin Peaks burger, not fully knowing what it entailed – two patties smothered with two kinds of cheese, two slices of bacon and a slab of ham with all the fixings!). I noticed a few other people who I suspected were fellow Peakers (Is that what we are called?) by the look of their giddy eyes scanning the walls for memorabilia, a childlike grin sneaking across their faces.
After getting properly stuffed with food and taking pictures of the outside sign, we ventured to the local Mt. Si high school that was used primarily in the pilot episode. “Yeah, yeah, that’s it,” Carmel pointed towards the wide red doors, that in the show, contained the secrets and melodrama from the motley cast of brooding leather jacket clad rebels and seductive, cigarette smoking femme fatales. Now according to the hand drawn map at Twede’s, the infamous boxcar that was the final destination of Laura Palmer, was nearby and we scanned the tracks for a few miles. We came across a lone boxcar that we were fairly sure could have been the one used, but we weren’t positive. We took a picture of it anyways. If you happen to know for sure if this was the boxcar or not that was used, we’d appreciate it if you would let us know.
Towards the end of our tour, we went to the Roadhouse. Fortunately for us, the exterior of the building was relatively similar and we recognized it instantly (absent of course the warning light atop the roof and no signs of a Renault brother there either). The real Roadhouse is called the Fall City Roadhouse, and it looks less nefarious with a cheerful paint job and a menu posted out front boasting breakfast specials. We took a few pictures out in the parking lot, however, and I think I heard the low rumble of James Hurley’s motorcycle fading out behind us down Preston-Fall City Road.
Unfortunately, we were disappointed with what awaited us when we sought after Big Ed’s Gas Farm. I had read that there were some major renovation and ownership changes over the years, but the area was mostly unrecognizable with what now houses a Shell gas station. “Is this it?” Carmel and I asked each other and I recognized the winding road and curve leading past the building so I knew this was the location, but nothing else echoed similarity to the gas station. There was no sign of Nadine or silent drape-runners either. Well, the car tour took us a few hours and it certainly fulfilled our expectations. Perhaps, we’ll take the tour again with friends when we come back and enjoy a slice of heaven and a cup of damn fine coffee! And hot!
What about you? Have you ever gone out of your way to “geek out” for a TV show or other pop culture?
Take a virtual tour of our day trip to North Bend, Fall City, and Preston.
Special thanks to my dad for driving us around all day and putting up with our mission.