Traveling from Coeur d'Alene, ID to Cle Elum, WA took us through the plains of Eastern Washington.
We were both surprised with how welcome the return to the remote high desert country was as we left the mountains of western Montana.
The dry lands east of the Cascades and west of the Rockies present a unique landscape that belies the popular desert image of a stark, barren landscape.
Living on this dry landscape can be difficult, but there is also a richness in life — both plant and animal. Sun-loving desert plants and sages complement the already colorful earth.
We weren't sure what the function was of this equipment that stood at the ready (left).
Other irrigation machinery appears to have been successful in bringing growth to the desert.
We probably risked staring at this artistic design on this high desert field for too long a period considering we were traveling down the interstate. But it was quite intriguing.
And speaking of intriguing.
After getting set up in Cle Elum, we drove to the towns where some of the scenes from the television show Twin Peaks were filmed (1989-91).
Twin Peaks (the town) is a composite, made up primarily of locales in the small mountain burghs of Snoqualmie, North Bend and Fall City--all of which are clustered within minutes of one another on highways 202 and 203 in Washington.
Twin Peaks (the show) is a linear story headed toward a simple resolution (Who killed Laura Palmer?). But there is nothing simple in the leads that FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper follows in his efforts to answer that question.
The Great Northern appeared in the opening credits of each show. It sits on the edge of spectacular Snoqualmie Falls (268 feet -- 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls). It is now called the Salish Lodge.
When Agent Cooper enters Twin Peaks, he crosses over another line that (to paraphrase Rod Serling) marks the boundary between states of mind -- a dark and demented territory that is the creation of David Lynch and his collaborator, Mark Frost
Dale Cooper: Who's the lady with the log?
Sheriff Harry S. Truman: We call her the Log Lady.
No, this log is not the one the Log Lady carried all the time. The 9-foot diameter log salutes the logging industry of early Snoqualmie.
Although on screen this den of iniquity looks like it's way out in the woods, it's really situated at the busy junction of highways 202 and 203 in Fall City (population, 1500). It's called the Roadhouse, but Twin Peaks apparently uses only the back and/or side (shown here) of the building, not the front.
This is the interior of the Mar-T Cafe (now called Twede's Cafe) in North Bend (population, 1701). (How I could have forgotten to photograph the exterior is beyond me.)
Lynch and Frost re-named this establishment the Double R, placing two orange neon Rs above the Mar-T's yellow and white Cafe sign. "RR," also refers to the disrepaired railroad cars used for the scene of the crime.
Pete: And how do you take your coffee, Agent Cooper?
Cooper: Black as midnight on a moonless night.
Dale Cooper: Damn good coffee!
Yes, we had to have a cup of coffee and a piece of cherry pie. The taste was obscured by the experience; the price was another "experience."
Shelley: Do you want some more pie? A whole pie?
Gordon: Yes, I would Miss Johnson. And a piece of paper and a pencil. I plan on writing an epic poem about this gorgeous pie.
But Twin Peaks is a place "with its own laws and customs, perhaps only tangentially related to the world as we know it. Twin Peaks offers the viewer a woodsy labyrinth in which you are invited to get lost, stumbling over clues in the dark and getting mired in the underbrush -- and where, by the makers' design, you may not be able to see the forest for the trees."
The falls took on an eerie appearance and seemed to be calling me to the railroad cars.