(Apologies – the slideshow loaded backwards, so you’ll see the pictures in reverse order and I can’t seem to fix it! It’s basically my day in rewind: La Push, Forks, Olympic National Forest, ferry…)
Day 41 was truly an adventure. I loved every minute of it. What started as a Twilight fan’s impromptu quest to find the homes of vampires and werewolves turned into the discovery of an unexpected new favorite place. The day didn’t start off exactly free-spirited. I’m not really sure why but I was a bit apprehensive about taking the ferry. But it was either that or significantly lengthening the trip. Since I was already driving nearly four hours to get there, take a few pictures (well, turned out to be more than a few…) and drive four hours back, I didn’t want to add any more time to it. So I bit the bullet and drove on to the ferry.
As soon as I got on I had intense flashbacks to the movie The Ghostwriter. If you’ve seen it you know they’re not the nicest scenes. I was a little tense getting out of my car and walking up the stairs to the seating area. Obviously no one murdered me and pushed me overboard, but maybe that was why I was hesitant.
Overall I was really excited to go to Forks, La Push and Port Angeles. I know they didn’t actually do all the filming there, but it was where all the books were based and they replicated a lot of it for the movie. And as a Twilight fan, having come this far across the country, how could I not drive a few miles more to see what inspired Stephanie Meyer?
I was pleased to discover that the area is being smart and capitalizing on the movie: on the ferry I found a Forks brochure that mentioned you should stop in the visitor’s center for a map of locations mentioned in the books. At that point I had no idea how much they – especially Forks – had gotten into Twilight…
As I slowly drove off the ferry (breathing a sigh of relief), more people gave me strange looks. It’s rather hysterical how many people in this part of the country suspiciously analyze my Massachusetts license plate, and some even ask “What are you doing in these parts” like I’m there to wreak havoc or something! I’ve thought of a few choice words, but so far have held back, simply smiling and saying “road trip.”
I couldn’t resist making two stops on the way: the first at a giant yard sale (hey, it’s the first one I’ve caved in to – and I got two depression glasses for two dollars) and the second at a postcard-like town called Port Gamble. As I took a few pictures, I thought how it never would have occurred to me to venture to the Pacific northwest for vacation, but it’s absolutely gorgeous up here. Aleta grew up in the area, but Matt is a Massachusetts boy. He’d never even visited the area when he was offered a job on a mountain here. He’s been here five years now and loves it.
Okay, I made more than two stops, but the others were for one minute picture-taking opportunities, all along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. I can see where it got its name.
I can also see why Bella and the gang didn’t just pop over to Port Angeles too much, as it’s not exactly right around the corner: it’s over an hour away from Forks. I got my first taste of Twilight in Port Angeles, where they also had a map of locations, so I went and took pictures at the book stores, dress shop, Italian restaurant and movie theater featured in the books.
Then it was off to Forks. Talk about a town possessed! Everything is Twilight! (And thank goodness there was also a Bank of America – it’s not as tiny of a town as I expected.) Well, either Twilight or logging, as it’s ‘the logging capital of the world’ and even has a timber museum, right next to the visitor’s center where they have a replica of the truck Bella drove in the book, as well as the truck from the movie. The people in the center were very nice, offering a self-guided tour sheet as well as to take my picture with the character cutouts. How could I refuse?
After a drive around town to take pictures of Bella’s house, dad’s police car, the hospital Carlisle worked at and the high school, it was time for La Push. Yes, I am a Jacob fan. (Why would you want a scrawny, pale, cold guy when you could have a strong, dark, warm one? I think Bella had it all wrong.) La Push is the home of Jacob’s Quileute tribe and features the most beautiful beaches. I wish I had more time, but I had to catch the ferry back, so spent all my remaining moments on First Beach, where Bella and Jacob walked when he told her the story of the Cold Ones and the legend of his tribe. You could also see the cliffs where they went cliff diving. It is loaded with driftwood and birds and crashing waves – a photographer’s dream. Even though it was cold, I didn’t want to leave. But since Jacob didn’t come along, profess his love and beg me to stay, I reluctantly got back in my car and drove back to the ferry…