You won’t find the town of Twin Peaks on a Washington state highway map. But it’s there, all right.
Just get off the interstate 25 miles southeast of Seattle, soon after you start climbing into the Cascade Mountains. Then head north to North Bend and Snoqualmie.
First stop: North Bend (pop. 2,275) and the Mar T Cafe. In Twin Peaks, it’s called the Double R Diner. Note the poster of loggers with the words ”Endangered Species” in the window.
Don’t: Talk loudly about saving old-growth forests.
Do: Order the roast turkey sandwich. And a slice of pie, baked fresh each day by a retired woman name of Garnet Cross. Best crust you ever put in your mouth, guaranteed.
Next door is the Last Trading Post and Loan. The movie folks rented stuffed animal heads there. Along with the guns, ammo, lures, and jewelry, the shop carries videos not found at your local 7-Eleven. Critics’ choice: Hunting the Wild Turkey (three stars — Dave Embry is riveting as he bags a spring gobbler with bow and arrow).
Next stop, two miles up the road: Snoqualmie (pop. 1,515). In the center of town sits the 39-ton log shown in the opening credits. People here call it ”The Big Log.”
The company that donated the log ran the Weyerhaeuser Snoqualmie Falls Sawmill (in the movie, it’s called the Packard Sawmill). Built in 1917, the mill could saw enough timber in eight hours to build 25 houses. It was torn down last October.
Both towns sit in a valley, with great views of Mount Si’s 4,190-foot peak. That’s peak, singular. Twin Peaks? Could be that too much of the Mar T’s chocolate-peanut butter pie (they say it was David Lynch’s favorite) makes Hollywood directors see double.
For seeing triple, there’s Smokey Joe’s Tavern, across the railroad tracks from ”The Big Log.” Old crosscut saws, hard hats, and other loggerabilia hang from rough-hewn walls. Frosted mugs of Rainier beer — some locals call it ”Vitamin R” — are drawn at a white oak bar.
A mile north of town, where the Snoqualmie River trips over the 268-foot Snoqualmie Falls, sits the Salish Lodgee used as the exterior of Twin Peaks’ Great Northern Hotel. FBI agent Dale Cooper goes there for what he calls ”a reasonable rate.”
Elk and venison are served in the lodge’s dining room, where you can watch the mist roll up from the falls.
To paraphrase agent Cooper: Have you ever seen so many trees in your life?