When I first visited Forks, Washington, back in 2004, it was a quiet little town that provided a reasonably-priced motel room. Of course, that was before vampires and werewolves started running around the nearby forests. Nowadays, Forks has a new identity, as the setting for the Twilight novels and movies.
Author Stephanie Meyer hadn’t set foot in this remote corner of the country before writing the first Twilight book. And of course, even if she had, it wouldn’t change the fact that the books are — gasp — fiction. Even so, the town is more than thrilled to welcome the steady stream of tourists who now arrive, hoping to experience a little bit of the Twilight magic.
As you drive into town from the south, the Forks Welcome Center is one of the first places you’ll see. It’s most noticeable attractions are parked out front. These old trucks used to belong to Bella, the teenage girl caught in a love triangle in the novels. They’re labeled as “Bella’s Truck from the Movies”…
… and “Bella’s Truck from the Book Series”. I’m not sure if the “Movie” truck is the actual truck that appeared in the movies. And I’m even more puzzled how the other truck could have appeared in the books. Also, Bella isn’t real. I’m just sayin’.
Okay, clearly I haven’t bought into all the Twilight madness. I’m even a little miffed that I had to thoroughly read some Wikipedia entries about the movies and the books, just to sound intelligent as I wrote this.
But Forks will forever be thankful that Twilight fans do buy into it all. The city is now filled with Twilight-themed gift shops. Tour guides shuttle visitors around to see all the Twilight-related sites — all of which were selected after the books came out, as potential stand-ins for their mythical counterparts. And no, the movies were not filmed here.
If your interest in Twilight-related attractions is minimal, you might want to check out the real reason Forks exists — as a center for the timber industry. The Forks Timber Museum will provide you with a good background on the history of lumberjacks in the area.
The Timber Museum is located next-door to the welcome center. Inside, you’ll see tools and artifacts going back to the 1870’s.
There’s also an old Ford Model T, circa 1923, parked nearby. As far as I know, it was never driven by Bella.
Here’s the time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive on US 101, from the Hoh Rain Forest turnoff, through Forks, to Lake Crescent: