Monday, September 15, 2014

Forest, ocean, and vampires: Forks, Washington

We chose the small, western Washington town of Forks as our next campsite location because the mileage was right and there were interesting places nearby.  That's our basic criteria for most any place we stop.

We had no idea that Forks is the setting for the Twilight series of young adult fiction (and now movies) that's gotten lots of media attention. Probably because we haven't read the books or seen the movies. We just know they have to do with vampires, werewolves, and star-crossed love. Just like us :)

We also had no idea that the date we chose to visit Forks was a party for the story's protagonist called "Bella's Birthday Weekend" -- complete with a dinner and big bonfire. We did see signs for tours and, appropriately enough, a blood drive. Apparently author Stephenie Meyer was in town, too.

While others were celebrating Bella's birthday, however, we went to the ocean, visited Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National park, explored Forks, and kayaked.  More on the Hoh Rain forest later.
This tree washed up on the beach near La Push, Washington, 16 miles west of Forks. That's Jim at the top.
The day we visited the beach at La Push and also nearby Rialto Beach (the latter is part of Olympic National Park) a lot of folks were surfing.
We saw this guy as we were leaving Rialto Beach.

Jim's favorite display at the Forks, WA, Timber Museum: Chain saws.  We've seen a lot of full logging trucks this trip.  The logging industry hit hard times in the 1980s, but a volunteer at the timber museum told us logging is big once again as the trees have had time to grow.  The volunteer said most of the logs are exported to China.
The campground we stayed at in Forks (Forks 101 RV Park) was fine but this rig at the edge of a road the campground shares with private property was a tad off putting, as was a nearby sign on a wood pile that read "Danger.  Due to ammo shortage there will be no warning shot."  Despite all that, I'd recommend the park if you don't need fancy and can get the Passport America rate of $17 a night. But don't take any wood.
The Twilight tour included stops at Bella's house,  Dr. Cullen's parking space, the Cullen home, and Forks Outfitters where Bella worked --  and I have no idea what any of that means.  A Chamber of Commerce rep told us author Stephenie Meyer wanted a rainy setting for her books (vampires need cloudy weather), researched locations on line, selected the Olympic Peninsula, and then looked at a map and liked the name "Forks."
The tide was just starting to come in as we began kayaking on the nearby Dickey River, so parts of the river were still low.  Here Jim drags his kayak across a sand bar.  Then  Jim dragged my kayak -- with me in it-- through the shallow water.  If we'd started kayaking when the tide was going out we might have gotten stuck in the mud.
Jim ponders how to maneuver between branches.  
At the confluence of the Dickey and the Quillayute River -- and just before together they dump into the Pacific Ocean -- the water was more open.  The name "Dickey" is a corruption of a Native American word for "people who live on the dark water."  


  1. Boy Bev, there is a lot to ponder in the last few posts.

    For instance, where the heck (Sandy has asked me to cut back on the swear words) could that tree have come from? Japan? Are “people” the same thing as “folks? Are they interchangeable? Is one person a folk?, or is folk plural in which case isn’t folks a little wasteful of the letter “s”? That is one mean looking bird. You’re concerned about the guy running a little short on ammo, but a bunch of people celebrating a make believe birthday about a make believe person who is a make believe creature, that’s not a little odd to you? Did like the chainsaws though. Did you notice that photo bomb guy looks suspiciously like Jimmy Hoffa?

    Well Bev, now you know, these are the things I ponder. By the way the nomadic life is serving you and Jim well, you both look great in both the photo bombed and non-photo-bombed picture!

  2. You are certainly a ponderer. And I am certainly a slow responder. I actually just read the first Twilight book, and part of the story takes place on the beach where that tree is. So I think the vampire folks/people/folk pushed in that tree from wherever vampires come from.