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March 28th, 2009

Vampire Sparkles

So we drove through Forks.

The Olympic Peninsula is beautiful, wild, and deeply and densely forested. You drive for miles through the forests, past waterfalls and lakes, over the twisting turning Sol Duc River, heading west from Port Angeles. It's an hour or so before you come to a gap in the firs, and find Forks, an old, slightly decayed, logging town that's seized upon its new-found fame. The motels advertise themselves with slogans like "Vampires Welcome" and "Edward Cullen didn't sleep here". They're slogans that seem to work, as on a wet March Saturday they all seemed to be open and they all seemed to be full, nothing but car loads of teenage girls.

A handful of shops all seemed to be selling Twilight tatmemorabilia, while all around mist swirled through the thickly wooded mountains. The old steam locomotive in the centre of the town is sponsored by one of the biggest logging companies in the area, and you get the feeling that if it hadn't been for one fluke choice of town name for an unaccountably popular novel, there would be very little there, an almost ghost town that flickers through the windows of the car as you slide on past down the 101. You'd flash past the logging museum and be gone, heading on for the rain forests and the rest of the National Park.

The undead, or undead. Those seem to have been the choices. As much as I dislike the novels, I can't really fault the choice the town made. Stephanie Meyers wrote it a blank cheque, and Forks is cashing it - right when it needed it most.