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Ah, Forks. A small logging town on the Olympic Peninsula, remote, unknown, secret. That is, of course, until Stephanie Meyer wrote the infamous Twilight Series.

I swear, it's everywhere. There is no escape from the horror of Sparklepires. Port Angeles has had similar treatment, but that's for another node.

I made a recent trip to Forks a few months ago to get away from it all, and let me tell you, it was positivley swarming. With them. I didn't even expect it. I knew about Twilight, but i didn't know the sheer magnitude of its fanbase.

In fact, as I was driving up there, I came across a rather beaten up looking 7/11 (or some other kind of Quik-E Mart), I saw on the rusty billboard that they sold burgers. Not just any burgers, Bella Burgers. The horror.

Once I reached my destination, I realized that over half of the people there were either a)Twihards or b) Parents and Siblings of Twihards who had been forced to come here.

There was merchandise everywhere. Cardboard cut-out Edwards from the movies, sparkly t-shirts proclaiming that "Edward Can Kick Lestat's Ass", make-up kits, backpacks, socks, legwarmers, blow-up dolls and dildos. (Maybe not the last two . . . but dammit, you get my point!) Well, this is completley unnacceptable. Out of everything Meyer could have chosen, she chose something that was actually part of my life.

If I were a fan or even a casual reader, I probably would have been flattered. But I detest the damn things, so it's really quite insulting.

Forks is named Forks because a group of rivers come together in this area.

Working from the shore to the mountains, here are the rivers:

1. Quillayute River. It is very short, only about four miles long.

2. The Dickey River empties into the Quillayute.

3. & 4. The Sol Duc River and the Bogachiel Rivers come together to form the Quillayute River.

5. Maxfield Creek empties in to the Bogachiel.

6. The Calawah River empties in to the Bogachiel. Open maps and follow the Bogachiel River way up in to the Olympic Mountains, and many other creeks and rivers empty in to it.

7. The Sol Duc River is paralleled by Olympic Highway 101, coming from the north and east, until Forest Service Road 2918. Then the source is from the south and east, up in the Olympic Mountains. There are myriad creeks and rivers that join it along the way. The origin is up close to the glaciers of the Olympic Mountains. Olympic National Park is huge. Jefferson County, Washington is mostly National Park and National Forest. You could hike across the county, but you have to drive either north or south to get to the other side. There is no road across the county. Olympic Highway is a loop around the peninsula. You can drive the entire loop in a long day as long as we are not having floods, mudslides, snow, earthquakes, a cyclone, a tsunami or other potential disasters.

Forks is named for the confluence of the five rivers. Looking at the western side of the Olympics, you can see how an average 110 inches of rain per year in Forks can cause massive floods, with the water falling all the way up into the mountains and then coming down and joining together over and over, carrying entire trees if the water is high.

Grundoon worked for the Forest Service in Port Angeles in the Olympic Mountains in the mid 1980s-90s. She wrote about how dangerous this park is for people who are not prepared. It can be very very wet and cold and sometimes freezing, and the way out to the road is not necessarily obvious. The park is big and very wild.


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