April 2, 2013

la push, baby

Blogger's Note: During my travels the past few years, I had the opportunity to visit various booked-related hot spots. Originally posted on my now-defunct blog, Lit Adventures, this is one of my Literary Adventures. Enjoy.

La Push Beach in Washington.

For Twi-Hard fans of the Team Jacob variety, making the pilgrimage to La Push, Wash., is a must. For the rest of us, it is an important piece of the Twilight saga, which brings to life many aspects of the series, namely Bella's visits to her friend and his reservation.

Home to the Quileute Nation, La Push is located on the Pacific Ocean coast about 15 miles from Forks, Wash. To get to La Push, take US-101 to Ocean Front Drive. There are signs along the way directing you.

These signs are easy to follow and will take you there.

Enjoy the scenery as you make the drive. These woods are basically how I imagined them while reading Stephenie Meyers' books. In addition to checking out the trees, you will also note a few spots specifically for Twilight fans.

Lots of trees line the roads en route to La Push.

First up: the Treaty Line between the Quileutes and the Cullens. Read about the Treaty Line here.

Crossing the Treaty Line into Quileute land.

You will also see signs for lodging, much of it targeted for Twi-Hards. One such spot is Jacob Black's house. In front of the cabin, there is a mailbox and motorcycle, which all of you Team Jacob fans will want to take a photo with. I am, and will always be, Team Edward, so snapping this photo was good enough for me.

A replica of the Black's mailbox and Jacob's
motorcycle en route to La Push.

Once I made it a little farther into the reservation, I was excited to see clouds of fog, mist or whatever you call it descending. Though Forks was hot and sunny while I visited -- it was August -- this mystical atmosphere was how I imagined most of the terrain appearing in the books.

Fog amongst the trees.

The road takes you by many beaches. I wanted to see the ocean, so I went until the road ended. The coast is rocky, and the water is cold, but if you are determined to set foot in the water like I am, you can manage it. Just be careful when you climb down the rocks. Not only do you want to protect yourself, but it is important to take care of the environment.

Toes in the black sand and ocean water.

While we are on the topic, there are a few bits of etiquette to keep in mind. While La Push is an interesting place for us fans to visit, remember it is not only a community's home, but land of cultural and historical significance. According to their website,
The coast.
  • Pay attention to signs and obey tribal rules and regulations.
  • Respect the privacy of residential communities.
  • Ask before photographing or recording an individual, event or activity.
  • Do not pick up or remove artifacts or objects. This includes sand, rocks, shells, minerals, marine growth, driftwood from beach, eagle feathers, broken pottery, etc. 
  • Burial grounds and religious ceremonies are sacred. Do not enter.

The main point is be respectful. Imagine how you would feel if a bunch of people appeared at your house and wanted to poke around. Even if you gave them permission to take a look, you would want them to take care. Use common sense.

You should also review the photography policy here. Basically, avoid snapping photos of copyrighted materials, dances or ceremonies.

All in all, if you are in the area, this is a great site to stop and visit. The tribe and the lands are an important part of the book series, but more than that, they are an important part of local culture. Paying tribute is worth the time.

Me, enjoying the chilly ocean after scaling the rocks.

Related Links
City of Forks
Forks Chamber of Commerce
Forks Chamber of Commerce Twilight Page
Quileute Nation
Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Page

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