By Cheryl Lee Latter
From South Bend To North Bend – My Twin Peaks Trip Across the US
It hasn’t escaped me that my Twin Peaks pilgrimage started on 24th February, the day Laura died, and ended the day Maddy died. It feels like a weird thing to commemorate, but considering the subject matter of the show, it seems a suitable way to bookend the trip.
The whole journey was perfect, and the trip of my dreams. After 30 years of waiting, it was so strangely normal to feel the mist from the falls on my face, to stand on the stony beach where we first met so many beloved characters, to drink coffee in the RR, to stand under the fan in the Palmer House. I was there for the first time, but I’d been there a million times before. I wonder how often that ever happens in life?
There were rumblings of the world events to come during the trip, especially in Washington, where the virus was already beginning to appear. A few people were wearing masks at Seattle airport, a few more in Gatwick. No-one was wearing a mask on either of the planes I took. Did any of us really know what was coming?
I was happy to get back to my little island home, and looking forward to saving and planning the next trip. I had some nice walks in nature those first few days, remembering the forest trails and the rain and fog falling through the tall trees.
A week later I was showing symptoms, and was in total quarantine. Luckily, my test was negative, but a week after that, the whole island was locked down and we were working in self-isolation at home. The island is closed and there are no boats. We woke up one day to find ourselves stuck here and our borders closed.
Now we are unable to leave our shores until an unknown date in the future, and no-one is allowed to arrive. There are worse places to be trapped, I know. We have food and fuel for at least 3 months, and we are able to walk and enjoy the beaches as long as we don’t have contact with anyone else. We are lucky to still be able to work.
But even here, anxiety and claustrophobia are beginning to creep in. I’m on a patch of land a mile and a half long in the middle of the English channel. It might even be a little bit of heaven. But we have no idea when we might see our family or friends again, or even if we will all make it to the other side. My friends, and the fun we shared, feel so far away.
The timing of the trip was beyond lucky. I long to be back road-tripping through Missouri with music blaring, grabbing that first glance of the famous Mississippi river, with my fellow fans watching Fire Walk With Me on the big screen in Arkansas, sailing towards the Seattle skyline, or being constantly surprised by mountains that seemed to appear from nowhere on the Washington horizon. I want to be back in the damp green forest or by the energising electrical energy of the Snoqualmie falls.
For many of us, Twin Peaks has been our home from home for many years, a place we know well and feel safe in. Now, even more than ever, in a world that is uncertain and changing by the hour, it is somewhere to hide. Every time we watch, we walk into a world of escapism and dreams, like Dorothy entering the bright technicolour of Oz.
I want to hope that we will all meet again, and that we won’t lose anyone along the way. How does death so quickly become part of our daily vocabulary?
For now, we will continue our lives, and continue to dream. The town of Twin Peaks is still there for us to visit, and to hide in, just as it has been for 30 years. There’s no place like home, when home is the free and borderless realm of our imaginations.