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Stephanie Goes to Twin Peaks

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My love for Twin Peaks is newer than most. I got into the show in late 2014 but quickly became obsessed thanks to its bizarrely lovable characters and increasingly stressful, mega-creepy situations, all tied to this overarching mythological thread that ran through the length of the show. And when I get obsessed with something, I go all in. So, when I found out that many of the places in Twin Peaks were real places that every-day people like me could go to, I started scoping out a trip. Never in a million years did I think I could make this trip a reality, but thankfully, I had two friends – Nick and Jess – who wanted to come along for the ride. (And, you know, do all the driving since I’m a license-less city-livin’ degenerate.)

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The first stop on our magical mystery Twin Peaks tour was the Twede’s Café, a.k.a. the Double R Diner – a constant presence on the show. It’s where Dale Cooper has his damn fine coffee and cherry pie, where Shelly and Norma regale each other with tales of the terrible men they’re married to, where Maddy, Donna, and James discuss the mystery of Laura Palmer’s murder, and where Ed meets with Norma to plan their secret rendezvous.

The original “set” of the diner suffered a fire several years, so it was remodeled and this new version is what was filmed for the new season of Twin Peaks. Double R Diner signs covered the walls, along with the trademark ice cream cone seen in the background of many scenes, a doll dressed in the Double R diner outfit worn by Shelly and Norma, and a wall COVERED in behind-the-scenes filming photos and newspaper clippings from the show.

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So, how was the food? I had a bacon cheeseburger and fries the first time we went (yes, we went twice, because how often do I get to go there!?) and it was insanely delicious. The fries especially were great. I had a grilled cheese the second time, which was also quite good. We ended our first meal with the trademark cherry pie. I’m not even a huge cherry pie fan but damn was it good! Damn fine coffee. Damn good cherry pie. At the end of our visit, we all got “RR” mugs, and I got a Twin Peaks T-shirt.

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One day of our trip, we trekked out to Snoqualmie Falls and the Salish Lodge & Spa. As fans know, the falls are featured prominently, both in the opening credits and before any scene at the Great Northern Hotel. It was gorgeous to see in real life, and I took about fifty gajillion photos of it. We hiked down the very steep trail to experience all the different vantage points – spotting a prime Bigfoot location as well – and sat at the river’s edge to enjoy the scenery. The hike back up was rough, but exhilarating. We celebrated our hiking accomplishment with drinks at the Great Northern. I had “The Dale Cooper,” naturally, which was tasty but strong. The Dale Cooper consists of: Batch 206 Counter Gin, clove and cardamom-infused Salish honey, Salish Lodge & Spa dry honey cider, and a lemon twist. At the gift shop, I bought a bunch of Twin Peaks magnets, while Jess and I are both lamenting not buying their amazing honey lotions. Augh, it smelled so good!

After Snoqualmie, we drove through the location of the opening shot, where the “Welcome to Twin Peaks” sign is featured. There is no sign, unfortunately, haha. So, future travelers, don’t be disappointed. We moved on to the Renig Bridge, known in the Twin Peaks ‘verse as Ronette’s Bridge, a train bridge Ronette Pulaski stumbles across all drugged and tattered after her friend Laura Palmer was brutally murdered in a train car. What a happy place to visit!

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This bridge also suffered a fire a couple years ago. You could see scorch marks on it. Creepy! What’s with the all the fires, Twin Peaks!? The bridge has been converted from a train bridge to a walkable trail. There was evidence of Twin Peaks fans all over it. The Black Lodge symbol was drawn on one pillar. Scratched into some of the paint was “Bob was here” and “Audrey lives!” I loved it.We went back to the Double R Diner for lunch to round out our Twin Peaks adventuring. Another fun coincidence is that our hotel was in Everett, WA, only about one mile from Laura Palmer’s house.

This was definitely one of many highlights of my trip to the Pacific Northwest, so I hope you Twin Peaks nerds enjoy it as much as me. And if you don’t watch the show, give it a try. It’s fun, silly, and terrifying all at once. Make sure you get there before more places start burning down. For real though, that’s a really creepy trend…

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MANY more photos below. Enjoy!

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Thanks for looking! More Pacific Northwest stories to come~ (Portlandia, Seattle, and TANIS!)

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