Twin Peaks and Northern Exposure – Day 101

Twin Peaks and Northern Exposure

Day 101 – July 10, 2003 – Thursday

We drove halfway across Washington state today — heading back east.

Today was a big day for pie. First, we had Cherry Pie in the cafe made famous in the TV series, Twin Peaks. Then we followed up with Apple Pie in Wenatchee, the apple capital of the world and the home of the world’s largest apple pie.

We had a lot of fun today. We saw the Snoqualmie Falls, the various locations where Twin Peaks and Northern Exposure were filmed, the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, and more. We saw the world’s greatest cow statue in Carnation, and we visited Dick and Jane’s Art Spot in Ellensburg. We met some especially nice people today.

We ran into Ralph, sales manager at the hotel in Lynwood, Washington, and he gave us a ton of sights to see. The desk clerk told us we needed to look up Ralph before we left town. Ralph had seen the elusive billboard on Whidbey Island, though he too believed that it had been taken down.

The first sighting of the day was an especially nice totem pole in Fall City.

The Carnation Research Farm just outside Carnation, Washington was built by the founder of the Carnation Company as a dairy stock farm. This historic 817 acre farm has been transformed to accommodate Leadership and Executive Training for the Nestle Company. We visited because we wanted to see the World’s Champion Milk Cow Statue. During the 1920s, the cow named “Segis Pietertje Prospect” had a yearly yield that exceeded 16,500 quarts of milk and 1,400 pounds of butter — ten times that of the average cow! Can you imagine producing 45 quarts of milk a day?

We saw a sign that said, “Blackberries killed and removed permanently.” I guess blackberries cause a problem for some crops.

Twin Peaks was an Emmy Award-nominated, Peabody and Golden Globe-winning television serial drama. Twin Peaks initially aired on ABC in 1990, and in its first season was one of the most successful television programs on TV. Declining ratings in the second season led to the series being canceled. Despite its short life as a TV series, Twin Peaks quickly became a pop culture hit. In addition, the series has been credited with influencing several television series in different ways, including Northern Exposure, Picket Fences, and others. These series have been referred to as “the next Twin Peaks,” either before their run or after popular success, and examine the human condition and the underworld of a seemingly perfect suburban setting.

Boz and I enjoyed the show, though we haven’t been Twin Peaks fanatics. Our reason for coming to the North Bend – Snoqualmie Falls area is cherry pie, the favorite dessert of FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan) on Twin Peaks. After all, we are on a pie trip, and some of the most famous pie in TV history needed to be part of the trip.

While tasting a fresh piece of cherry pie at the Double R Diner, Cooper proclaimed “This must be where pie goes when they die.” The restaurant also made a “damn fine cup of coffee.” The Double R Diner seen on the series was actually the Mar T Cafe located at 137 W. North Bend Way in North Bend, Washington. The TV series was set in the North Bend area.

So, we made our way to the Mar T Cafe, and we had cherry pie and a cup of coffee in the same spot where Kyle McLachlan seemed to order a piece of “cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee” each week. We met Marissa and Heather at the cafe. They told us to go next door to a tourist information place, and we met Ed. Ed Stowie was an actor in several episodes of Twin Peaks. He told us all about the show, and he directed us to a number of locations that were used in the show. He also told us about people who come from all over the world to see the locations where Twin Peaks was filmed. We saw the mountains that are called the Twin Peaks. We saw the famous sign from the opening of Twin Peaks TV show. We drove to Snoqualmie Falls and saw the beautiful waterfall. This was the hotel and the waterfall featured in Twin Peaks. We also drove to Fall City where we saw the Colonial Inn. It was a roadhouse in Twin Peaks.

While in North Bend, we also saw the Train Depot, a railroad graveyard, and a giant log.

We then drove to Roslyn Washington. This town was the setting for the TV series, “Northern Exposure.” Northern Exposure was a quirky TV show about the cultural clash between a transplanted New York doctor and the townspeople of fictional Cicely, Alaska. It featured stories of how people of diverse backgrounds and experiences strive to accept their differences and co-exist. Plots revolved around the intricacies and eccentricities of the citizens of this small town. The show aired from 1990 to 1995. It was a Top 20 TV show for several years.

We took our 10,000th Round America photo today — looking down main street in Roslyn, Washington. This entire town was transformed into “Cicely, Alaska” for the TV show. We took photos of places we recognized from the show — Dr. Joel Fleischman’s window, the radio station, the bar, and some signs. We spent a little time watching a movie crew at work filing some scenes from a science fiction movie that was using some locations in town.

Dick and Jane’s Art Spot in Ellensburg, Washington scored high on the Quirk-O-Meter at first glance. I don’t recall how or where we heard about it, but we drove to Ellensburg to see it. It features a yard full of art — brightly painted wooden figures, bicycle wheel sculptures, and bottle cap decor. As I looked more closely, I realized this was not like some of the questionable art we have seen filling some yards across America…these folks really are artists.

Dick & Jane each received a BA in Art from Central Washington University, in 1971. Dick Elliott and Jane Orleman created the art site predominantly from their own play, but it is also a collection of the work and play of over 35 artists. Dick & Jane’s Spot is dedicated to the philosophy of “one hearty laugh is worth ten trips to the doctor.” They have been working on “the Spot” for 27 years. There are over 10,000 bottle caps and thousands of reflectors. The pieces in the yard are always changing. Old pieces decay and new ones are added. We met two tourists, Kathy and Tony, at Dick and Jane’s Spot.

When we were hundreds of miles away, we spoke to our son, Ryan, and we were distressed to learn that the first employee he ever hired for his business makes his home in Ellensburg! We were so very disappointed that we didn’t realize it and missed meeting Michael Stowe.

For some reason, I had on our list to go to Cashmere, Washington to Liberty Orchards to get some applets and cotlets candy. So, to Cashmere we went. The brochure says: “The blossom-fresh flavor of crisp Washington apples, the tangy goodness of ripe apricots, and the nutty richness of crunchy English walnuts have made our namesake Aplets and Cotlets our top sellers since 1920!” We were too late for the tour, but we bought some candy. Not my favorite. I wish I could remember why I thought we needed to go.

Cherry stands on the side of the road began to get our attention, so we stopped at one and met Josh, a fruit farmer from Cashmere. He was also a forest firefighter. Nice guy, and the best cherries we have ever eaten.

Leavenworth, Washington is a stunning Bavarian Village and a great success story. A small timber community, Leavenworth became the headquarters of the Great North Railroad in the early 1900s. The railroad relocated to Wenatchee in the 1920’s. With no easy access to the railroad, the sawmill closed in 1926, and the lumber company headed for more profitable areas. With the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s, followed by the war years, Leavenworth’s economy spiraled downward. These hard times plagued Leavenworth through the 1940s and 1950s. With little hope of an economic rebound, stores were closing and people were leaving as there were few job opportunities.

The city struggled until 1962 when community leaders approached the University of Washington Bureau of Community Development looking for ways to save the town. Out of this work came the idea to use the town’s beautiful natural surroundings and a Bavarian theme to attract visitors to the area. The town underwent an amazing transformation. The first six buildings were remodeled in 1965 and 1966, and the others soon followed. Two of the leaders instrumental in this effort were Pauline and Owen Watson, longtime residents of Leavenworth. One of the most impressive facts about this entire project is that it was financed with private money – no federal assistance at all. Simply dedicated people mortgaging everything they had! Leavenworth has become a premier destination for family vacations, holidays, recreation, and getaways.

Bavarian-themed shops are uniform in appearance throughout Leavenworth. It is as if you were in a village in Bavaria! Boz went shopping at the Nutcracker shop, because Ryan has received a Nutcracker as a Christmas gift every year. There are fabulous mountain views from Leavenworth — a beautiful area!

We even spotted the World’s Largest Suit of Armor in Leavenworth.

Smallwood’s Harvest is a tourist stop in Peshastin. Surrounded by fruit trees at the base of the beautiful Cascade Mountains, the farm at Smallwood’s Harvest offers attractions for young and old, including a petting farm, a maze, an enormous pumpkin patch every fall, shopping, and fun things to do.

It was well past supper time when we rolled into Wenatchee, Washington. We checked into the hotel and asked where we could get the best pie in town. Riley took care of us at the Comfort Inn. We took her advice and headed to Prospector Pies for dinner and pie. Ryan was our waiter. The Toll House Cookie Pie and the Dutch Apple Pie were both very good. Wenatchee is the Apple Capital of the World and is home of the World’s Largest Apple Pie.

The lesson for the day is to always take advantage of the assets you have. Leavenworth was almost dead as a town, and Pauline and Owen Watson knew something had to be done. They looked around and realized that Leavenworth’s assets were one of the most beautiful settings anywhere — a setting that lended itself to a Bavarian theme. So, they came up with the absolutely crazy idea of having independent businesspeople re-do their storefronts to have a Bavarian theme. The town took what it had and capitalized on it, and Leavenworth has become a significant tourist attraction and a thriving town.

The Daily Journal of Round America:

Each day, we collect our thoughts on a web page just like this. We drop in some of the photos from the day. Our goal with the Daily Journal is to write about the towns we visit, the sights we see, the people we meet, and the pie we eat. We write about where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going, but we also make observations about what we’ve seen and done as well as about life in general.

You can follow our travels from the Daily Journal section of this website. Other pages of interest include the running report of “vital statistics” on the Trip Scorecard, our nominations for the Best & Worst of the trip, as well as a rating of the pie we eat. If you’d like to see information for a specific state or town, click here, and then click on the state of interest, and the full itinerary is shown.


More Information on the Sights Visited Today: 
Carnation Research Farm — Twin Peaks — Double R Diner — Snoqualmie Falls — Roslyn Washington — Northern Exposure — Dick and Jane’s Spot — Liberty Orchards — Leavenworth Washington — Smallwood’s Harvest — Prospector Pies