After a time of great personal loss, a friend of mine set off on a road trip around the United States. When I later asked what part of the country had made the deepest impression on him, he named a few towns about thirty miles east of Seattle: the shooting locations, he hardly needed tell a fellow David Lynch fan, of Twin Peaks. Raised in Spokane, Washington, among a variety of other modest American cities, Lynch saw clearly the look and feel of the titular setting by the time he co-created the show with writer Mark Frost. He eventually found it in the Washingtonian towns of Snoqualmie, North Bend and Fall City, which even today offer a friendly reception to the occasional Twin Peaks pilgrim — at least according to my friend.
This was more recently corroborated by Jeremiah Beaver, creator of Youtube “Twin Peaks theory and analysis show” Take the Ring. Thirty years after the premiere of the famously cryptic yet transfixing original series, the Indianapolis-based Beaver made the trip to Washington to visit its every remaining location — as well as those used in the 1992 prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, 2017’s Twin Peaks: The Return, and even these productions’ deleted scenes.
Into the half-hour-long “Three Days in Twin Peaks” Beaver fits a great deal of information related to Twin Peaks’ production and mythos as well as the real-life history of the relevant places. “It was at times hard to distinguish the Twin Peaks that lived in my imagination versus the ground beneath my feet,” he admits.
Beaver makes his way to locations both major and minor, from the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department (now the DirtFish Rally Racing School) and the Double R diner (Twede’s Cafe, “one of the few spots in Washington state that really owns its Peakness”) to the shack of the Book House biker club and the bench in E.J. Roberts Park once sat upon by the late Harry Dean Stanton’s Carl Robb. Some real buildings played dual roles: both Twin Peaks’ Blue Pine Lodge and Great Northern Hotel are in reality different parts of Poulsbo’s Kiana Lodge, and the Mt. Si Motel appears as “two different motels with elements of the supernatural,” first in Fire Walk with Me, then even more seedily in The Return. “That fresh mountain air and smell of trees is no joke,” says Beaver, words to heed if you plan on making your own Twin Peaks pilgrimage — and if you do, you can surely guess how he describes the coffee and cherry pie at Twede’s.
Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.