I’m a pro at weird. ~Bella Swan, Eclipse, Chapter 5, p.121
I felt like someone had kicked my legs out from under me. The weeks of stress, of worry… somehow in the middle of all my obsessing over the time, my time had disappeared. My space for sorting through it all, for making plans, had vanished. I was out of time. ~Bella Swan, Eclipse, Chapter 12, p.269
Saturday morning was another exciting day. We survived the night in our motel. Did I mention our heater was not working at all and the temperature dropped into the 30’s? At one point I told Nicole, “We don’t have to worry about someone killing us, we’ll just freeze to death.” However, we did have a small space heater to break some of the chill, adding to our camping experience. Even Nicole found that funny!
Keeping with the same theme, we were taking our official Twilight tour with others of the same interest at 11:00 am. After breakfast, we walked up and down the only real street in Forks, at least the only one with most of the business fronts. Taking in an antique store and another Twilight paraphernalia store, before hitting a chocolate shop. Nicole got some fudge and I chose a few bonbons and chocolate covered potato chips, satisfying a sweet tooth before we started to burn more calories.
When Nicole booked this tour, I was kinda skeptical. I do love all the additional information and fun facts supplied on tours and I wanted to see what they outlined to be specific places in the book. However, I didn’t want this to be cheesy. Admittingly, the tour was very well done. Our guide (sorry I can’t remember his name and yes I said HIS) was very knowledgeable about the movies and the books, and I mean knowledgeable! Come to think about it, so were the Chamber of Commerce people. I bet they could sight the books faster than Stephanie Meyers herself.
Before we even got started, our guide was giving us some tough trivia questions to answer and was shooting out miscellaneous information on Stephanie Meyers and the town in general. It was wild! He even educated us on the Quileute language, which was so much fun! Great guy, cracking jokes the entire way and really keeping the energy of the tour going, even though he’s probably done this a million times and was sick of hearing the word Twilight. Although, I couldn’t tell if that was the case.
As we road in our little black mini bus, we were escorted to all the key places from the book including:
The Chamber of Commerce to see Bella’s truck from the book and a similar model of truck from the movie. The license plate on the truck was actually used in the movie.
Bella Swan’s house, which is a person’s real home. Now none of these landmarks are exactly based off of the books but they best fit the descriptions. The lucky owners of this house were nice enough to allow people to stop and take pictures in front, just not to encroach too far on the property.
The tour guide told us a story that actually happened and why they were strict with the no trespassing rule. Evidently, one night the owner of the house heard a noise in the kitchen and went for a closer inspection. He walked in on some Twilight fans checking out the color of ‘Bella’s’ cupboards. Can you imagine? I believe it! They didn’t mean any harm, they just were curious. In fact they actually told the owner of the house, as they stood in the middle of the night in his kitchen, ‘We wanted to see what color was Bella’s cupboards.’ I guess it’s situations like that, that make the towns people irritated with Twilight fans. Although, they are still apart of the tour. Very cool!
Then the next stop was Forks hospital. Yes, this tiny little town has a hospital. It looks more like a fire hall but they don’t need a huge facility. The guide told us that a busy day in there consisted of about 12 people, I’m sure that wasn’t a problem for Carlisle. At this point a bee flew in our bus and as I’ve mentioned Dog Gone, I’m allergic to bees! Me and another girl began to squeal until our tour guide took notice. By then the bee landed in front of Nicole, who jumped out of her seat and I grabbed my book to settle this once and for all. I got a good hit in and it dropped on the seat. The other girl yelled “It’s a bee!” and I followed it up by saying, “I’m allergic!”. Our tour guide turned into comical super hero by saying, “O gotcha, it’s like a black widow in the air for ya.” He came back removed the problem and off we went. Way to go! Of course, if I got stung, I’m sure Nicole wouldn’t have minded a trip into the Forks ER. It might have actually topped off her bucket list.
As we continued to the other side of town, we made a stop at the Forks school, which was recently remodeled and beautiful. It was really a pretty setting for a school up against the mountains and rain forest in the background. The school also embraced the Twilight phenomena head on. They allow people to stop in and look around, take pictures and that sort of thing. In fact, on Stephanie Meyer day, September 13th (Bella’s birthday) the students give tours through the school. That’s the spirit!
We made our way to Forks City Hall and the Forks Police station. Nicole really wanted her picture in front of a cop car, but alas we were not allowed past a specific point to obtain a picture. One item not crossed off her Twilight bucket list.
Across the yard from the City Hall and Police Station was the Cullen house. This was the oldest house and most closely resembled Stephanie Meyer’s description in the book, except it was not positioned on a windy road in the woods. But regardless, it’s a beautiful house and it’s used as a bed and breakfast. We were allowed to step up on the porch where the owners graciously encourage the Twilight madness by posting a message on the whiteboard daily. They even equipped the experience with a piano inside the front window, which we were allowed to peek through and the see the Twilight decorated front room, adding to the Twilight craze. They even had a cardboard cut out of the one and only Edward Cullen in the attack window, which was visible from the front lawn. Wonder if our friend earlier had the same cut out? Rain Forest, Forks, Beach…all in a Day! – Twilight Pilgrimage Part 2
Boarding our mini bus once again, we headed out of town towards the reservation. On the way we stopped at the treaty line to get more pictures and to play with the vampire threat-o-meter. While resting, the tour guide said that the group who makes the Twilight parodies actually shot an episode at one of the cabins there. I’ve seen them, they are funny and I agreed with the guide, Jasper’s actor looks just like him. During our ride to this point, our guide was giving us a lesson in the Quileute language. Nicole asked a very good question, “What did Jacob say to Bella in New Moon?” It was Quileute for ‘Stay With Me Forever’. Fun facts!
Moving down the road we stopped at the Jacob Black house, which also was transformed into a bed and breakfast. Even sporting a motorcycle by the mailbox. I will admit the house really did feel like the Jacob Black house from the book and even looked like it from the movies. I must say these entrepreneurs are brilliant, they see an opportunity and take it. Good for them! I wish them all the success! While we were there I noticed these piles of dirt everywhere. Nicole and I noticed them in the rain forest too. When I pushed them with my foot, it felt like soft dug up dirt. Nicole’s explanation, it was poop. That was funny, well not really if it was, then I would have intentionally placed my foot in crap. So taking this as another opportunity to quiz our tour guide, I asked him about the mounds of dirt everywhere. He said it was a critter, can’t remember the name of it, kind of like a mole or chipmunk that dug up the ground. I guess the wolf pack better get to exterminating!
As we continued our tour, we made our way down to La Push Beach, First Beach. Again another perfect day! As we approached the beach the tour guide pointed out two bald eagles! I have never seen a bald eagle in person. Even though they were at a distance, they were amazing! Then we saw a seal play around in the water! I guess if we would have stopped out two weeks earlier, we might have been able to catch a glimpse of the Orca’s. I looked for a spout out in the ocean, but nothing.
Jetting out from the beach were island type of cliffs, and I guess one of the protruding rocks was the Quileute holy ground. We were told, as part of their tradition, they would climb the cliffs of these specific islands with their deceased, and put their corpse in a tree as a final resting place. As I took in the scenery, I could see it happening. I love hearing legends and traditions!
During this down time, I took the liberty of questioning our tour guide again on the mysterious drift wood logs. Nicole thought they were strategically placed by the Quileute’s along the beach and on the rocks. Wrong! They were washed up on shore from swells and tsunami’s. That must be an awesome sight to see during a storm, these huge trees crashing into the shoreline! Again they were ENORMOUS!
We also found out that during Stephanie Meyer day, which our guide said has since turned into Stephanie Meyer weekend, everyone gathers down to First Beach. They build bon fires and the Quileute elders come out to tell their stories and legends. Now that is wild! Totally worth a trip back!
I couldn’t help but wonder, what do the natives think of all this hype and popularity. Our guide said, for the most part they love it and embrace it because it really did their economy good. Then he said there are those that want to be left alone and are not fans. But the majority seem to enjoy the town’s new found fame.
As our tour came to an end and we made our way back to the car, our very funny and friendly tour guide shared another piece of fun fact. He said that they have a Bella Sandwich at the Subway. In order to have a sandwich renamed, the owners had to go to corporate and get it approved. The only Subway sandwich changed just for that location is in Forks. He also pointed out different restaurants and such, mentioning a place that had the best salads. What? Are you kidding me? I’ve been craving a great salad since I started this trip and there was a place right under my nose? Nicole looked at me and snickered. I mean most people talk about great steaks, seafood, pasta, not usually salads. But there the information was shared on a great salad and we were leaving town. Next stop back, I’ll need to confirm his claim.
As the trivia was shared, he gave a non Twilight related story, if that’s possible. He even cracked a joke, “Now there is more than Twilight fever that exists in Forks”, or something along those lines. He said, not only has Stephanie Meyers made her appearance in Forks for her book signing, but this small town has seen other celebrities too. Most recently Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey Tribbiani from Friends, made a stop with his buddies while riding motorcycle along the coastline. He said he was a great guy and took the time to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
Again, being excited to move on to see more of the area, we had to take one final drive around this once unknown town, now very famous, before heading back out to Port Angeles and ending up in Seattle. It was a bittersweet feeling. I would never want to live in Forks, but visiting this remote area was worth it. I guess I didn’t know what to expect over our visit, especially the weather. It was another perfect drive, all 57 miles to the closest civilization, Port Angeles. Nicole had already planned for us to eat at La Vita E Bella, now better known as the restaurant where Bella ate mushroom ravioli with Edward.
Once we got there, I wanted to walk around the dock and see the area a little bit more. As I stood on the pier and looked out over the water at the boats, Nicole and I both commented on the floating logs we saw. Yep! Now that we were equipped with more information, than when we began this trip, our eyes began to hone in on specifics that caught our interest. One being the washed up logs. I couldn’t believe it, there were random logs just floating in the water! Could you image? I guess it’s nothing new to the locals but it still amazes me. I mean, just think if you were in a boat just sailing along and all of a sudden you wrecked into a log? In the middle of the ocean? How would you explain THAT to the insurance company?
Once we had our fill of the sea air we headed up a couple of blocks to the restaurant. By now all I wanted was a huge delicious salad! I knew this was the place that was going to satisfy my craving, and it was! Of course Nicole had the mushroom ravioli, which was very good too. I talked to our waitress about the Twilight craze and she stated, as I’ve heard many declare, that it was great for business. I asked her, wanting to be certain that this port, which had its place in the books and movies but was by no means the focal point of the story and was 57 miles from it, was still a hot spot for Twilight tourists. She said, even to this day. Amazing! I asked, “Do you know they are Twilight fans, ’cause they order the mushroom ravioli?” She shot me a grin and a look of ‘cha’.
Now that Nicole got through her Twilight bucket list, at least most of it, and my stomach was occupied with a fantastic salad, we headed back to Seattle, back to the starting line. As we put our travels in reverse, driving onto the fairy was equally as exciting, especially since I had to drive up on the second level. Although on this ride, we remained seated in our car during the 20 minute ride across water inlet. Nicole and I were both tired, plus I enjoyed just sitting there reading and enjoying the relaxation. I even found left over chocolates I was munching on from Forks. At that point it already seemed like a lifetime away.
Once we got our hotel, I was happy over the living quarters. A beautiful big bathroom with tile floor and a granite counter top. Sometimes it’s the little things in life we take for granted that we appreciate the most. Taking a safe shower without fear of critters crawling out of their hiding places in the wall was a blessing. We talked to my cousin Marianne before turning in for the night. Next stop Seattle!
To Be Continued…