Monday, August 22, 2016

The Real Twin Peaks: Laura's Log and the Blue Pine Lodge

"She's dead. Wrapped in plastic."

The beginning of the pilot episode opens with Pete Martell discovering Laura Palmer's body just outside his home at the Blue Pine Lodge, setting off the central mystery of the entire series. Her body had been deposited along the river banks at high tide next to an enormous toppled log.

These scenes were filmed at the real-life Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo, Washington, one of the more faraway locations from the rest of the "town" in the series. Even in the series it looks like it's probably on the outskirts, but Kiana Lodge is literally about 60 miles away from Snoqualmie and North Bend, on the other side of Seattle!

In fact the only two ways to get there from Seattle are either by ferry or by driving around the bottom of Puget Sound, both of which take a while and make for kind of a trek. (We drove around the water; ferry wait times were listed as 2 hours!)

But it's so worth it!

Believe it or not, Kiana Lodge is mainly a wedding space. It's rentable for events, but it's marketed specifically for wedding planners. No, nobody lives there (that I know of) - it's not a private house, though it is private property and we called while on our way just to make sure that nothing was going on that day and that the staff wouldn't mind us poking around a bit. They were very nice and even directed us how to get to the (in)famous log.

There are actually several buildings at Kiana Lodge - the one shown in Twin Peaks as Pete's, Catherine's and Josie's residence is the one closest to the water (making for the best on-camera views). Fittingly, they were doing wood-cutting while we were there!

They've done some work since the show, and the lodge looks a bit different now. Its basic structure is instantly recognizable, though, and the totem pole is still there.

Laura's log is just to the right of the above photo - in the image at the top of the post, you can see the lodge peeking out to the right of Pete's head. The log is literally just across from the lodge.

And here's the log itself. To think, Sheryl Lee was lying right there.

Kiana Lodge has even put up a plaque in front of the log to commemorate this scene - I'd seen some visitors say they couldn't find this and thought it had been removed, but no, here it is:

The text says "A pivotal scene in Twin Peaks' pilot episode was filmed here in 1989. Laura Palmer was discovered right next to the immense log tethered before you."

To give you a little better idea of the lay of the land here:

There's the Blue Pine/Kiana Lodge with the log next to it.

Funny story: when jumping off that 2 foot high wall above the beach, I did a total faceplant. Sand and rocks all over myself and my camera. There's a lot of seaweed down there and the rocks are such that you can't really predict how your feet will sink in. So now I can say I faceplanted on Laura Palmer's beach!


The Kiana Lodge is also where they filmed the bird that opens the credits sequence of the show. I knew this was here from the In Twin Peaks site, but I'm not giving it a separate entry because at this point, it's really impossible to find the exact branch they used and in fact, it may no longer exist. Here's the closest I found:

Again, this may not be the same branch (remember there's been 25 years worth of extra growth, though), but there were only about three there hanging out like this and this one had the best angle. The real branch may have been cut, or it may have actually been a different branch that they held out at a specific angle. It's really impossible to know, but it was definitely one of the branches from one of the trees in this specific spot.

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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