July 23rd, 2011
I went on an interesting and fun day trip with some new Seattle friends to the popular Snoqualmie Falls (about 45 minutes drive west of Seattle). This waterfall is on the Snoqualmie River near the town of Snoqualmie (not really big on giving places unique names in this part of Washington state!). The falls are 268 ft (82 m) high and apart from being a popular tourist attraction also appeared in the cult 1990’s TV series “Twin Peaks” by David Lynch (1990-1991) and the followup movie “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” (1992 – more or less a prequel to the TV series). The lodge above the falls was known as the “Great Northern Hotel” in the TV series.
Unfortunately because of works on the “lovely” new hydroelectric plant they are building at the falls, the hiking trail to the base of them is closed until 2013! So we had to be satisfied with the top view only today. Still a spectacular sight.
Twin Peaks was set around an FBI agent investigating the murder of popular teenager Laura Palmer in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington. It was renowned for its quirky style and characters; showing the dark and seedier side of seemingly innocent people in the town and their double lives, with supernatural overtones and bizarre scenarios. It was destined for cult status!
The exterior shots for the show were filmed in the towns of Snoqualmie and North Bend, both of which I visited today, and also in parts of California where the interior shots were also mostly done. A key location in the show was “T Mar – Double R Cafe”, this place is now known as “Twede’s Cafe” in North Bend. The cafe was totally burnt out in an arson attack in 2001 to cover up a burglary ($250,000 damage for $450 stolen!), it was rebuilt, but for some reason they changed the outside and the inside to look nothing like it did in the days of the TV series (possible marketing blunder, but business still seems to be good)!
They have 50 burgers to choose from there with the usual American heart stopping zest (for example one with a hot dog, another with a chicken fried steak etc – mind you these are served in the same burger with the meat patty also)! The cherry pie which was so famously mentioned in the TV show is on the menu too but after a massive burger and sides I really didn’t feel like it (for the record I had a tasty “Hickory burger” with cheese, bacon and hickory smoked BBQ sauce with a giant stack of home cut fries….apparently they have all you can eat fries, not sure who would take this offer up….actually it’s America, so probably a lot of people)!
There is not a lot of memorabilia in the place anymore, but there are a number of photographs on the wall outside the toilets with photos etc from the TV series and a mural on the back outside wall with the image from the opening credits of the welcome sign to “Twin Peaks“. The original outside signage has some remnants of what was seen in the show with the giant T and “Cafe” wording.
Whilst in North Bend we came across an additional bonus, the “North Bend Block Festival” a strange mix of local arts and crafts, pet care supplies, folk music and Iron Man competition! The highlight for us though was the Valetines Performing Pigs show…fat little pot-bellied pigs doing a number of tricks etc on stage (“Snort”, “Petunia” and “Lulu”). These people have had their pigs appear on numerous TV shows like the David Letterman Show, Jay Leno, Good Morning America, and Oprah. Pretty funny stuff, and the pigs loved it as they got a treat everytime!