Editor's Note

Return to the Double R

Rediscovering Twin Peaks in North Bend.

By James Ross Gardner September 15, 2016 Published in the October 2016 issue of Seattle Met

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“Agent Cooper” photographed for Seattle Met in 2014.

On a recent Saturday morning, a guest at Twede’s Cafe in North Bend, Washington, captured the attention of his fellow customers. This guest, surely the victim of a horrific accident, was wrapped in bandages from the neck up, with only one eye and one ear exposed. He sat in a corner booth, facing the dining room. Hardly anyone in the restaurant could keep their eyes off him.

It was unseemly, the way these cafe goers kept gawking. Yet it was hard to assign too much blame. They had come, like so many visitors before, to dine where Special Agent Dale Cooper had dined 26 years earlier, when he declared the coffee damn fine and the cherry pie the best he’d ever had. 

Twin Peaks, in all its illogical, surrealist glory, entered the popular consciousness a quarter century ago, and it’s safe to say no one has looked at North Bend and neighboring Snoqualmie—both stand-ins for the TV show’s titular fictional town—the same since. A mummy man calmly eating bacon and eggs with his family wouldn’t have been out of place in the story hatched from the mind of David Lynch.

Filmed all around Western Washington and long regarded the most local of locally made shows, Twin Peaks returns early next year with the original cast reprising their roles for a limited series on Showtime. To honor that return and legacy, our annual fall fashion feature this year (“Twin Peeks”) is an homage to Kyle MacLachlan’s Agent Cooper, Sherilyn Fenn’s Audrey Horne, and the mystery of what befell an enigmatic teenager.

It just so happens that our Lynchian take on autumn fashion coincides with our exploration of great nearby retreats (“Perfect Day Trips”), a compendium of destinations two hours away or less. The land of Laura Palmer isn’t among them, but it more than qualifies.

You roll out of Seattle around 9am, glide along the I-90 floating bridge, and corkscrew up the Cascades until, hardly 40 minutes after you left home, you’re parked in front of Twede’s—“Double R Diner” on the show—in time for breakfast. You claim a stool at the counter and despite the hour order pie and coffee. 

On the wall in the back, a smattering of photos shot on set all those years ago recall a time when something cracked and this town and this diner became places where the absurd and very real are indistinguishable, and everything—logs, doughnuts, a head wrapped in gauze in front of a plate of eggs—became objects of curiosity no one can stop looking at. 

Just ask the guy in the corner. 

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