“Twin Peaks” was a cult favorite when the series aired on ABC during the early 1990s. The show started strong, but quickly faded in the ratings race and was canceled after two seasons, 30 episodes. Its cult status led to a motion picture – “Twin Peaks – Fire walk with me” – which failed to attract attention at the box office.
The series followed FBI agent Dale Cooper as he investigated the murder of a local woman. Laura Palmer’s body was found along a rocky beach. The investigation led Cooper (portrayed by actor Kyle MacLachlan) down some strange rabbit holes.
The show never lost its cult following. The David Lynch-produced series has bounced back with new episodes airing on Showtime cable. Lynch has also served as a writer and director for each incarnation.
Both versions of the series spent time filming in locations around Washington, including the Snoqualmie area, which is about 30 minutes east of Seattle. Other locations included North Bend and Fall City, both a few minutes’ drive from Snoqualmie.
Being a fan of film sites, I set out for my own “Twin Peaks” investigation. About 25 locations were used between both series and the movie. However, I wanted to key on a few better-known spots. So, I jumped in the car and headed off to the unknown. Who knew what I would find as I did my own “investigation.”
I thought it may be best to start off in North Bend, home of the famous Double RR Diner. The small town had quite a few locations used for the series. But, the most famous local attraction may be Twedes Café. The small restaurant was renovated as the Double RR Diner. It kept the show’s interior design.
During the series, the restaurant was known as the spot for Cooper to get his fix of coffee. He claimed the Double RR made “a damn fine cup of coffee.” Along with the java, he’d have a slice of pie, cherry to be specific.
So, I figured I had to have a cup of coffee during my visit. Twedes’ servers pour the hot, black liquid into a black cup with the red lettering on the side “Home of Twin Peaks” with the claim of its goodness. I can attest that it is indeed “a damn fine cup of coffee.”
As I waited for lunch to be served, I took in the atmosphere of the diner. Fans from all over the country flock here, having to eat where Special Agent Cooper did. Two couples sat a few feet from me at the counter talking about the series. They were all fans. One woman was dressed in a waitress’ outfit from the original “Twin Peaks.” The local couple told them about some interesting places to check out in Seattle. The intimate setting of the diner allowed conversations to be overheard without trying.
I had a few cups as I enjoyed my lunch of a club sandwich served with a side of potato chips and coleslaw. The lunch portion was large. Chips took up half the plate. A small bowl of coleslaw was delicious. Homemade, I believe. The club sandwich was impressive.
Following lunch, I knew I had to try a slice of the cherry pie. I had to wait about 15 minutes while two pies finished baking. Due to a large weekend of “Peaks” fans invading the area, the café went through several pies.
Once the waitress slid the pie server under the slice, I knew I was in for a treat. I received the third slice of pie. The two couples near me received the first two slices. The pie was outstanding. Definitely worth the wait.
Following lunch, I couldn’t leave without some souvenirs for the family. A T-shirt, post card and a few pens later, and I was out the door, taking in the Pacific Northwest’s majestic views.
I headed off for a drive along a two-lane highway to Snoqualmie, about a nine-minute drive from North Bend. I wanted to find “Ronette’s Bridge” from the movie, which played a major part in a critical scene in the 1990 pilot. I stopped at the Northwest Railway Museum, because, I thought, who would know better where to find the trestle bridge. I struck gold. The woman at the counter showed me directions on a map.
The railway museum had a few spots used in the TV series. The town’s “centennial log” was used during the opening title scene. Old train cars at the museum were also used for a scene.
The trestle bridge, which crosses the Snoqualmie River, is part of a walking trail. I walked across the bridge, as I took in the view and shot about 15 photos of it and the area. Snoqualmie offers some amazing views of forests and mountains.
Snoqualmie Falls is a beautiful attraction in the area. It was a natural to be used as one of the filming locations for the show. We toured the falls about a year ago when Lisa and I visited our daughter Mallory. Since I was in the area and it was a sunny day, I knew I had to stop by. I was joined by another 100 or so in taking in the scenery.
Next to the falls is the Salish Lodge & Spa. It served as the Great Northern Hotel, where Cooper stayed during the investigation.
My final stop during my day trip took me to Fall City, about a seven-minute drive from Snoqualmie Falls. The Roadhouse restaurant’s exterior was used in filming.
Completing my investigation of “Twin Peaks,” I can conclude that, beyond a reasonable doubt, checking out the series’ film locations was a fun day trip. And, the Double RR Diner does, indeed, have “a damn fine cup of coffee.”
For more information on “Twin Peaks” film locations in the Seattle area, check out www.welcometotwinpeaks.com.