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BEYOND KITSAP | ‘Twilight’ fans flock to Forks
Joker’s Peace takes the ‘Twilight Tour’ and finds the edge of the world, but no vampires.
The city of Forks is in love with vampires. And word has it that Vampires love Forks as well.
The old logging town on the North Olympic Peninsula, population just over 3,000, has been put on the map by the vampires, werewolves and love stories of Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” series, a novel which began some five years ago and has become a cultural phenomenon in text. It's slated to premiere on the big screen Nov. 21, with special midnight showings benefitting the Kitsap Regional Library here in Kitsap.
Most assuredly a boon for Forks, chamber of commerce director Marcia Bingham said, “Twilight”-crazed visitors have numbered in the thousands, coming from all over the country, and indeed all over the world, simply to walk the same ground as the heroes and heroines from the fictional story.
In response, the chamber has drawn up a map of the town’s Twilight sights — like Bella Swan’s house, the Forks hospital, the high school and city hall, and even a stand-in for the vampires’ hang out — the Cullen’s house — for visitors to indulge.
In preparation for the inevitable disappointment of the “Twilight” series making the segue from books to the big screen, while Robert Pattinson (the actor cast as Edward in the movie) gave Myspacers a virtual tour of the “Twilight” movie set online, What’s Up decided to take a trip Beyond Kitsap, to take the Forks’ Twilight Tour and see if we could chase down some actual vampires in the dark, wooded reaches of the North Olympic Peninsula.
With my wife — an Edward-fawning “Twilight” fanatic — as my co-pilot and interpreter, we headed across the Hood Canal Bridge Saturday morning, on through Port Angeles, past Lake Crescent and onto the enigma that is Forks. Situated in the Hoh Rain Forest about 15 minutes from the coast, maybe an hour from the country’s most northwest point, Forks is definitely an interesting place.
Meyer said she picked it as the setting for “Twilight” after a Google search revealed it as the area of the country with the most annual rainfall.
Veiled by pretty much consistent cloud cover, with nightfall settling in well before 5 p.m. in the winter, you can definitely see how a vampire could reside in peace in Forks, without having to deal too much with that pesky sun.
When we got there, of course, it was raining, and it was fairly unassuming — your typical small-town America main street surrounded by quiet neighborhoods and trailer parks. The chamber was bustling, marked with a big “Twilight” movie poster in the front window.
We picked up a map of the “Twilight” sights, checked out all of their “Twilight” swag and were off.
The first stop was Bella’s house, the teenage daughter of a town cop who falls in love with the ravishing, I’m told, vampire Edward. As we arrived in front of the two story blue house on K Street, my wife announced, “That’s not Bella’s house.”
She went on to concede that the actual house fit the description from the book fairly well, but she’d imagined more of a forested place. So we snapped a picture and onto the next stop, the Forks Community Hospital where there is a designated parking spot for Dr. Cullen — the vampire Carlisle, who works as a local surgeon. Then on to Forks High School and the Forks City Hall, stand-ins for Bella’s school and her dad’s place of business, and then the Cullen’s house, which again set off my “Twilight”-loving wife.
“That can’t be the Cullen’s house,” she says, “the Cullen’s house is off in the woods, at the end of a turnoff that you can barely see from the road.”
The stand-in for the Cullen’s house was actually a bed and breakfast just down the street from city hall.
We talked for a moment with one of the owners who was raking leaves in the driveway, but found no vampires. In fact, we didn’t even find any likely vampire hangouts anywhere in town. It wasn’t until we drove out to the coast on the La Push Indian Reservation, looking out over surging waves, towering cliffs and flocks of feasting birds at the edge of the world, that I felt like we’d found a place romantic enough for vampires to exist.
However, in Meyer's story, vampires are supposed to stay off of the reservation, which is werewolf territory.
I guess that’s what you get when you try to track down people and places from a fictional story.
SEE THE VAMPIRES OF 'TWILIGHT' on the big screen — starring Robert Pattinson as Edward, Kristen Stewart as Bella — as the Kitsap Regional Library and local movie theaters present a midnight showing, with doors at 11 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Bainbridge Pavilion (403 Madison Ave. N on Bainbridge) and also at Olympic Cinemas (1520 NW Riddell Road in Bremerton). Tickets are $25 including a small drink and popcorn and chances to win raffle prizes. Seating is limited. Proceeds benefit the Kitsap Regional Library. Info: www.krl.org, www.bainbridgepavilion.com.