Saturday, March 02, 2013

Twin Peaks Trip

About 30 minutes east of Seattle are the small towns of Fall City, Snoqualmie and North Bend, the locations for a number of locations in the Twin Peaks TV series and film. In researching this leg I can't thank enough whoever put this site together as that was my main source of information. 

The first location we hit was the Roadhouse, which has had a green lick of paint and a bit of an overhaul. 
It's in Fall City. If you're driving from Seattle, chances are you'll enter this city on the Fall City Road and the Roadhouse is at the end of that. As you follow the river you'll see it directly in front of you.

This is how it appeared on the show, the angle is around the left of the building.

A little further north across the river and round to the left, is the location for Hap's Diner. You can see it from the Roadhouse.

This is how it appeared in the movie. It's clearly much more decorated now. Head back to the previous junction and follow the road east with the river on your right to get to Snoqualmie.

Just before you hit Snoqualmie you'll reach the Salish Lodge and Spa Hotel, better known as the Great Northern Hotel. Getting photographs of this was a nightmare due to the position of the sun and the mist being caused by the falls. I'd love to know how David Lynch managed to get such great shots of it now. The area is now being developed as a hydro-electric plant and this has been used as the primary tourism pitch. A 20-year old TV show is clearly not the draw it used to be :)

Continuing the drive into Snoqualmie you're soon welcomed to the town of Snoqualmie. The name of the town is Native American Indian for "Ferocious People", however the people we met were very nice.

Now under a huge shed this is the giant log that features on the TV show. It's a 400 year old Douglas Fir and sits along a lengthy stretch of rail line along which you can see some really old trains. As well as being the Twin Peak location, Snoqualmie is also home to a large Railway museum. So if you like trains and cult TV shows then you'll love this place. 

Whenever I see a railway line I always have the overwhelming urge to dance along the sleepers like this.

 I promptly slipped on a oily sleeper and aggravated an old neck injury I picked up on a previous rollercoaster trip. Great start to the trip...fortunately it sorted itself out whilst I was in Vegas a few days later. 

Exiting Snoqualmie in the North East corner as you drive along Reinig Road you'll pass this small bridge apparently going nowhere. 

It's now the start of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail used by runners and cyclists (lots of cycles in Seattle) and goes straight on as far as the eyes can see into the next town of North Bend. It clearly used to be a railway line but not any more. 

Some graffiti on it makes reference to the show. 

This is the same railway line and bridge that Ronette Polaski is seen walking along, and obviously doing a better job of it than I managed earlier.

Next stop the Packard Mill can be found if you turn left at the intersection after Ronette Bridge onto 396 Dr. and then the first off road left down the hill towards a car park. Now it's fairly abandoned looking.

It obviously looked a lot more alive on the show with double the amount of chimneys. 

In the same location is the office for the construction company that now owns the land.

On the TV show it was the Sheriff's office: 2 hits for the price of 1.

If you head back to the last junction and take the first left after a few minutes drive along SE Reining Rd the road will gradually turn left and in the distance is Mt Si. 

Add a sign however and it's the most famous Twin Peaks shot of them all. Rather ironic that the welcome sign doesn't welcome you to anything; the road is on the way out of Snoqualmie, not in it. 

From you can either carry on down the road and head south into North Bend or do what we did and double back and follow the river into the town. What greats you is a classic old downtown town with a small number of shops gathered around some cross-road intersection. This is the intersection of Bendigo Boulevard and W North Bend Way. 

On the South-East corner is Twede's Cafe, which in its' previous incarnation was the Double-R diner.

Here's how it looked on the show. 

The interior has now changed unfortunately due to a fire that broke out a few years ago. The layout is slightly similar with the centre bar area surrounded by the seats. The only noticeable remaining feature is the diamond light pattern on the ceiling. 

Here's how it looked. 

This is the only place that still harks back to its TV show history, and it was totally appropriate to have the cherry pie and the "damn fine" cup of coffee. I don't drink coffee so have no idea what "damn fine" tastes like. It was OK and the staff were more than happy to keep topping it up. Perhaps that explains why Agent Cooper was able to stay awake for so long. 

Here's my favourite thing about Twin Peaks, the lovely Madchen Amick. It's just a shame the staff in the diner aren't this hot! 

The back wall of the diner has a number of photos of from the filming and some press articles reporting the fire. Worth taking some time to check out if you're visiting.

Heading SE away from the diner on SE North Bend Way we headed out of North Bend to the next location. The rather run-down Mt Si Motel. This location was used in the film and is the place where Leland Palmer goes to score with some whores and finds his daughter there. We stayed long enough to take the photos then promptly left. 

The final location was Snoqualmie Point Park picnic site which is on winery road off SE North Bend Way a little north west of the town. 

This was where the last video of Laura was shot. The view from here was pretty amazing and it was a good way to finish off the tour. 

On the way back to Seattle we stopped off one more time to get photos of the falls. Slightly better than in the morning but still frustrating.

The trip is very easy to do by car and we got around in a few hours, including having brunch at the diner. Public transport is nigh on non-existent out here, I did see a shuttle bus running to the Snoqualmie casino and that was about it. So if you want to do this you need to be able to drive or have a kind friend in the area who is willing to drive you around. Taxi hire would have been around $300 to do this trip, so not really feasible. Bike hire would be possible but there are some mountain roads to deal with if you wish to do it that way.

Big big thanks to Steve for being a great host and driving me around on this rather geeky day!

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