When you think of Forks, WA, assuming you know what a very small and relatively uneventful town it is, the first activity that comes to mind is probably not a paid tour. What can there possibly be to tour? you might ask. I decided to give it a go and see what all the fuss was about. Having seen the Twilight Tours In Forks company on the Twilight In Forks documentary, and after hearing first-hand from some friends what a great experience it was, I signed up my sweetie and me for an afternoon tour and dragged him reluctantly along (with him emphatically announcing to everyone we passed that he was “Team Switzerland”). Surprisingly, Twilight Tours (originally owned by the Dazzled By Twilight store), is not the only tour company in the tiny town, although it is the original. Team Forks, affiliated with Lapelles Flowers & Gifts, runs a very similar tour, with a slightly higher admission fee. You can browse online for other opinions on the two companies, but since I didn’t take the Team Forks tour, I can only tell you about Twilight Tours, so read on to hear about my adventure in Forks and La Push!
An introduction worthy of fanfare!
From there, it’s on to La Push! As you’re zipping around in the tour bus, Travis fills the time by quizzing fans with some surprisingly tough Twilight trivia (beef up on The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide before you go!) and playing movie-appropriate theme music as you approach the various locations. He’s also a student of the Quiluite language and traditions, and teaches you various words and phrases in the native language (pay particular attention to the word for “chipmunk”). As you enter Quilute territory, of course the first stop is at the Treaty Line, complete with a “Vampire Threat” meter. The tour then continues on toward the Black house before stopping at one of the breath-taking rugged beaches.
Arnold, our driver for the outing, is a member of the Quilute tribe. He good-naturedly corrected Travis’s pronunciations (few and far between as those mistakes were), and shared his own insight into the Quilute customs and way of life. The Quilutes are a private people, so Arnold was careful not to over-share, but his family anecdotes and tidbits of information about various La Push landmarks and activities were insightful and enjoyable, and really added an extra dimension to the experience. One of the things passed on by Arnold during our tour that interested me the most is that the Quilutes open up some of their traditional activities up to travellers. On Wednesdays at around 5:30, the Community Center in La Push opens for a comminity-wide pot luck meal, followed by drum circle (complete with tales!) and dancing. Drum circle starts between 6:00 and 7:00 and there’s no fee to eat or dance, but it would be good form to bring your own dish to contribute to the pot luck if you intend to partake of the food. There are additional activities you may be able to attend during other parts of the year, so ask your tour guide and driver for the most up-to-date info!
The tour typically lasts between 2.5 and 3 hours, arriving back at the Twilight Tours store for a final shopping stop. Inside the tour depot, you can find a decent selection of shirts, hats, pins, magnets, stickers, and other collectible souvenirs. I recommend taking the tour as early as possible in the day, then spending the afternoon strolling the streets of Forks and doing some serious souvenir-ing… but hey, I’m a shopper and I love acquiring new shineys! .
Twilight Tours gives back
This summer, Twilight Tours In Forks will be doing four separate surprise donation tours. This won’t impact tour attendees, and you probably won’t see much of a change in the program aside from an announcement that you are on one of these special tours, but the benefit to the town will be notable. Travis says all the proceeds from these tours, including admission fees, will go toward previously selected charities or causes around the Forks and La Push areas. Those local businesses and groups wishing to be considered as recipients for the donation tours will submit their entries to Twilight Tours, then a name will be drawn randomly. Twilight Tours will spontaneously choose the highest-attendance tours in order to raise as much money as possible. Imagine stepping on the bus for your fangirl time, only to learn you’re secretly funding a local charity! Very exciting, and an admirable gesture by Twilight Tours.
Twilight Tours In Forks circulates a monthly newsletter called “What Happens in Forks…”, giving readers insight into current happenings in and around town, as well as special coverage of Stephanie Meyer day. They also distribute Quilute Word on Wednesdays (QWoW), a weekly email containing a single English word followed by its closest Quilute translation. 25% of all subscription fees collected from the newsletter and QWoW will be donated to the Quilute Nation in an effort to help them retain their traditions and heritage. I’ve been subscribed to QWoW since I discovered it, inspired by the beautiful words Jacob spoke to Bella at the end of the movie New Moon, and Twilight Tours has graciously agreed to allow me to publish one of their words each month for free. Keep an eye out for the first one, scheduled tentatively for next week! Don’t wait for me though – head over to the Twilight Tours website and sign yourself up for the newsletter, QWoW, or a combination of the two, and get your own slice of Forks delivered directly to your inbox!
For my guide on where to eat, shop, and explore in Forks (as well as pick up some awesome souvenirs!), check out yesterday’s post!
© All photos displayed in this post are property of DavinciKittie. Copies of these photos may be used for personal purposes without permission, but not on any monetized website/blog or in any media outlets intended for profit. Persons and businesses may use these photos in a non-profit manner ONLY as long as a link back to this site is provided in a reasonably visible location and (for businesses only) permission from DavinciKittie is obtained in advance.
|Not yet a subscriber? If you liked this post and want to see more, follow me on Twitter or subscribe via RSS feed below! Wordpress and Email subscriptions are at the top of the sidebar.|
|Subscribe in a Reader|