Every once in a while you’ll visit a place that just leaves you in awe–a place that makes you believe there is such a thing as magic after all. I’m not exactly a world traveler, but I’ve now visited two places that made me feel this way. One was the Florida Keys (about six years ago) and the other was the Pacific Northwest, more specifically Forks, Washington and the surrounding area.
If you read my last post, then you know I was traveling there to attend the Forever Twilight in Forks festival with my sister-in-law, Amanda. I’d heard the area was beautiful and that many people tend to go back after they’ve been once. I now understand why.
Of course, my feelings for Twilight likely have something to do with this sense of magic I found, but I’m pretty sure this place would have hooked me even if it weren’t the setting for one of my favorite book sagas. It was just completely unlike any place I’ve ever been.
We flew in to Seattle and stayed there the first night, and while I loved seeing a bit of the city and visiting Pike’s Place Market, it was nothing compared to the next four days of our trip. We left Seattle on a huge ferry (with our rental car in tow!) and soon arrived on Bainbridge Island. The island, itself was rather large and contained some of the most picturesque houses I’ve ever seen. (I wish I’d gotten a picture of some of them.) We crossed over a drawbridge back to the mainland and followed the northern coast toward Forks. It wasn’t long before we began to get a feel for just how amazing this place was.
We stopped in Port Angeles and saw a sea otter (which I at first thought was a giant snake!) and a seal. We then followed the scenic highway alongside a huge, stunning lake with mountains in the background. The fog which seems to play a central part in the Twilight movies made its appearance around this time. It was everywhere in the mountains.
We stopped to hike to Merrymere Falls and our suspicions were confirmed: this was one of the most beautiful places either of us had ever seen (Amanda is a world traveler, so that’s saying something!) As we hiked, we kept stopping and gazing up at the trees in amazement. We knew right away that pictures would never do this place justice, but that didn’t stop us from trying to capture some of the magic we saw.
When we made it to Forks, I, of course, had to get a picture with the famous welcome sign. We found our lodge (actually a cabin) and took a tour of Forks that evening. The town was very close to how I imagined it would be–small, quaint, and somewhat rugged, as any rural town in the hills might be.
We did quite a bit on our four-day stay in Forks, and I’ll spare you all the details, but some highlights included hiking the trail behind the visitor’s center, watching the Breaking Dawn movies at Forks high school, going to La Push to visit First, Second, and Rialto beaches, and also visiting Ruby Beach in the Hoh Rainforest. And of course, I loved meeting several of the actors from Twilight! We attended a fabulous party on Friday night, which was a reenactment of Edward and Bella’s wedding reception. It was pretty awesome.
This was one place I was sad to leave, even though my husband, children, and animals all awaited my arrival back home. It was quite disappointing to go from 60 degree weather back to mid-90’s in Oklahoma. Ugh.
But I think the best thing about this trip is that it left me refreshed and inspired, definitely ready to write some more. And I do know one thing for certain: I left a piece of myself in Forks, Washington. I’ll definitely be back.