It was just "breaking dawn", when I crossed the famous Narrows Bridge that would connect me to the mysterious Olympic Peninsula area of northwest Washington State. (Civil engineer history buffs may recall this is the location of the famous "Galloping Gertie" bridge that was destroyed by "evil forces", i.e., laws of physics, several decades ago).
Although I had read that there were wonderful parks and hiking areas beneath the bridge, along the shore line, I had to forgo exploring them, in order to meet my goal of circumnavigating the entire Olympic Peninsula in just one day.
I had to settle for using the telephoto lens of my camera, rather than my feet, to give me some photographs of the area known as Gig Harbor. Maybe on my next visit, I can take the Gig Harbor boat tours offered by my friends at Destiny Harbor Tours ( www.DestinyMarine.com )
As I mentioned, it was just "Breaking Dawn" when I started this expedition, so the Olympic Peninsula Gateway Visitor Center was still "asleep". However, some displays and visitor literature were outside, and available to folks at times when the building was closed.
Circumnavigating the Olympic Peninsula via U.S. Highway 101 will take you through the (now-famous) town of Forks, Washington.
Even if you have not been an avid reader of the Twilight series of books, or a viewer of the Twilight movie series, once you are in downtown Forks, you begin to see that they are making the most of their newly-found intrigue. The Native to Twilight store carried handmade and local items that support and represent the talented First Nations artists of the area. Twilight fans will recall that Jacob relates First Nations Quileute legends to Bella early in the series.
The silhouettes represented on this "Dazzled by Twilight" storefront are instantly recognizes as Bella in the center, Jacob on the left, and Edward on the right. It was along this main thoroughfare in Forks, that I drove under a banner stretched above the highway proclaiming "Stephenie Meyer Day". I made a note to google that name later and found out that Stephenie Meyer, a devout Mormon, is the author of the Twilight Saga. As a result, September 13 has been dubbed "Twilight Day" in her honor, in recognition of the September 13 birthday of Bella, the series heroine.
And what's a scary campfire story about vampires and werewolves, if you have no wood to fuel the fire all night long, to scare away those wild creatures hidden in the darkness?? Twilight Firewood concession has solved this problem!
Long before Forks was famous as the setting for the Twilight Saga, its main "claim to fame" was the Forks Timber Museum.
The grounds of the museum have picnic tables, and gigantic logs that are reminders of the ancient forests that surround the little community of fewer than 4,000 residents.
Since I had been driving for quite a distance, I was on the lookout for a restroom when I went through Forks. This structure on the grounds of the Timber Museum caught my eye as a possible "out house". Closer examination, however, revealed it was made from a single, hollowed out tree trunk! It was there as another reminder of the logging history of the area.
Still on the hunt for a restroom, I pulled into a health care facility, knowing they could be of assistance in this area. In all my years of working in the health care field in Arkansas, I had never seen a toilet like the toilet at this place. It had more options on it than I had time to try out or read, so I just took a photograph of it for further study! I learned later that the physician in the Twilight Saga (who has a mysterious history as a kind of "vegetarian" vampire) is said to have worked at this health care facility. So maybe his influence can account for the somewhat complicated-looking toilet!
I saw this same group of women walking together at several different locations along my Olympic Peninsula expedition, and it is a reminder to say to any male readers of this blog, that the Forks Chamber of Commerce has recognized their draw to the female tourist, by incorporating a link on their website ( www.forkswa.com ) that is to help the male companions of these female Twilight series fans, find activities to do while their significant others are busy touring locations mentioned in the saga's books and movies! In fact, it was a road trip to Forks, Washington, that my female cousins took a few years back, that was the first I had ever heard of the little town of Forks!
Part of the popularity of the Twilight Series is the lure of forbidden romance in the relationships that its heroine Bella encounters. When I saw this couple silhouetted on the beach, I was reminded of the Twilight figures I had seen silhouetted on the storefront in Forks, and imagined it was Bella and Edward----or is that Jacob??!!
Upon returning to my home in the Bible Belt, I came across this Multnomah publication at a local Christian book store. Since I had just been in Forks, I picked it up. The back cover states that Touched by a Vampire investigates the themes of the Twilight Saga from a Biblical perspective, and that it is written for Twilight fans, parents, teachers, and youth workers. The overview of the series that it provided was very helpful to me, since I had not read the books. Also, the discussion guide it included for small group use, raised some interesting questions. It started me thinking: Maybe the evil, blood sucking vampires could represent rampant greed, affluence, and consumerism! It also made me recall one of my First Place 4 Health ( www.FirstPlace4Health.com ) memory verses from Ephesians 6:12-13 that says "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." So before you go out into this dark world, remember to put on the full armor of God, as well as the "amour" of God! That way, you will be able to have "miles of smiles" on whatever expedition you take! Tricia