WordPress will not allow me to use italics within image captions, so please imagine that “Twin Peaks” and “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me” are italicized.
I am a huge Twin Peaks fan. It’s my fifth favorite television show, and I’ve seen the entire series at least twice thrice (as of 9 July 2010). I’ve seen episodes one through sixteen (the good ones) at least four times. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen both the show’s pilot and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, the 1992 prequel film. Since becoming a fan of the show, I’ve given the name Diane to my tape recorder — and my father’s Garmin Nüvi — and I dressed as Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole last Halloween.
For the uninitiated, Twin Peaks takes place in the fictional Washington town of the same name, in 1989. The local homecoming queen, Laura Palmer, turns up dead, and the investigation into her murder uncovers a web of mysteries and oddities. The show was created by Mark Frost and David Lynch, and the latter left his fingerprints all over it — in a very good way. Twin Peaks encompasses many genres, from crime mystery to dramedy to soap-opera parody. Unfortunately, the executives at ABC demanded that Laura’s killer be revealed during the second season. After this revelation the show fell apart, effectively becoming the sort of soap opera it had parodied during its height. ABC did not renew the show for a third season.
This summer, I have had the pleasure of being able to visit Snoqualmie Valley in Washington, where many exteriors for the series and film were shot. What follows is a record of my trip.
A few miles after I pulled off the interstate into the town of North Bend, I spotted this sign:
A little ways down the road was my first stop: the Mt. Si Motel.
After taking several pictures of the motel’s exterior, I rang the office doorbell and was met by the motel’s owner. I explained that I was a huge Twin Peaks fan and asked to see the inside of Room No. 6. She was happy to oblige:
My next stop, in downtown North Bend, was Twede’s Cafe.
I stopped for cherry pie and coffee — black as midnight on a moonless night — and snapped some shots of the inside:
The cherry pie was good, but not as fantastic as my aunt’s.
The interior of the cafe was destroyed by arson since Twin Peaks was filmed, but hints of the original decor linger today. In the back, by the restrooms, are many framed photographs from the production of the show and the film:
Our next stop was an unremarkable bend in the road, on the outskirts of Snoqualmie, Washington:
Unremarkable as this spot is today, it was once the spot where the Twin Peaks welcome sign stood:
A few miles down the road was a train bridge which has since been converted into a pedestrian bridge:
Farther down the same road was Mt. Si High School:
Unfortunately, I photographed the wrong side of the school, but that this is the same building is undeniable.
The following stop was the Salish Resort & Spa, which doubled as the exterior of the Great Northern Hotel. Renovation was being done on the hydroelectric system there, hence the construction equipment and the diverted water.
On my way to the next location, I saw some deer crossing the road:
At the end of an unmarked, private turn-off, I found my next location: the local Weyerhaeuser sawmill.
The mill, formerly owned by the Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company, has been dismantled since the series was filmed. The management office still stands, however:
I tried the office doors, but they were locked. I did my best to photograph the inside through the glass doors.
After driving for a short while, I arrived in Fall City, where I came upon my next site: the Fall City Roadhouse.
Behind the roadhouse is a small building:
This building once served as the exterior of the Bookhouse, where Twin Peaks’s secret society meets:
And parked across the street from the Roadhouse was a Ford Fairlane Victoria:
A short car ride north of the Roadhouse is the Fall City Grill.
Afterward, I passed through Snoqualmie again, and I took some pictures of an abandoned train car:
It also bears resemblance to the train car in which Laura Palmer was killed. It’s not the same one, though:
The last stop of the day was at a park overlooking the valley.
A nice park has been built since the show was filmed in 1989.
After looking down upon the valley, it was time to head on to Seattle. I certainly enjoyed my Twin Peaks pilgrimage, more than I can express in writing. It certainly made my day — nay, my month.
Stay tuned for part two: Agate Pass.
Special thanks to Charles Ramsey, without whose amazing website my trip would not have been possible. Thanks also to the folks at the Twin Peaks Brewing Co. for capturing the images from the series and film.