The Log Lady and her quirky "Twin Peaks" cohorts have been axed by ABC. But the surreal series set in this small Northwest logging town keeps tourist dollars flowing like a hot cup o' Joe.
When "Twin Peaks" failed to appear this week on ABC's fall lineup, loyal fans of the 1-year-old series were upset but not surprised.The show had a cult following but low ratings. ABC dropped it earlier this year, relented after receiving an estimated 10,000 letters from angry fans, then dropped it again. The final two episodes will be broadcast back-to-back on June 10.
Still, the cash registers kept on ringing this week at "Peaks"-related businesses in North Bend, the town 30 miles east of Seattle where many of the show's exterior scenes were shot.
The series also featured regular scenes of Snoqualmie Falls, three miles west of here.
The Mar-T Cafe, made famous as the Double R Diner in "Twin Peaks," daily sells 15 to 20 of the cherry pies FBI agent Dale Cooper raved about on the show. Visitors consume about 40 pies a day on weekends, cafe owner Pat Cokewell said.
"This must be where pies go when they die," Cooper, played by Yakima native Kyle Mac-Lachlan, once mused on the show. "Heavenly pie."
"It's been a fun year but lots of hard work," said Cokewell, perched on a stool in her diner. "It's really been unusual - like `Twin Peaks' itself."
The series revolved around the efforts of Cooper and the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department to cope with murder, strange and twisted goings-on and evil spirits.
Since the show's debut in April 1990, thousands of fans from as far away as Oslo, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; London; and New York have flocked to the diner, situated in the shadow of North Bend's own Twin Peaks - Mount Si - for 15 years.
"I hope they found something they like so they keep coming back," Cokewell said.
Down the block, Joanne Richter, owner of Alpine Blossom and Gift Shoppe, also has prospered from the series.
"I don't know what's wrong with ABC. They're not listening to the public," said Richter, who stocks one of the town's largest "Twin Peaks" merchandise displays.
The shop has sold more than 10,000 "Twin Peaks" T-shirts since last summer, Richter said. And it can barely keep "Twin Peaks" mugs on the shelves, selling about 12 dozen every week.
Not missing an angle, Richter has even created $5.95 replicas of the mossy log that speaks to the Log Lady. Richter said she has sold hundreds - one woman bought five. "If we look exhausted that's because we are," she said.
And "Peaks" fans are dependable, she said.
"I've never had a bad check from a Twin Peaker yet . . . Lots of local bad checks," Richter added.