Forks 18th Annual Wine & Cheese Event

November 19th, 2012 by contributor

Clallam County District 1 and 6 firefighters

The Forks Chamber of Commerce 18th Annual Wine & Cheese “Hoh Down” was held at the 110 Business Park Roundhouse (formerly the Rosmond Mill and then Loth Lumber) on November 10th.  The evening was brisk but heaters and wine kept most happy.  Music by Loose Gravel, folks in western hats, boots and jeans, great auction items and yummy wine and snacks were a fun mix.  Historic pictures of Forks were a major topic of conversation, with a community coming together to reminisce about the past, share stories and memories.  Along with naming the 2013 Board of Directors and recognizing Chamber volunteers, the Clallam County Fire Districts #1 and #6 were honored for their bravery and dedication to keeping the Forks community safe.

Bryon Monohon, Marcia Bingham and Cindy Mesenbrink

JT’s Sweet Stuffs was named Business of the Year for their community-minded activities like the Twinkle Light Holiday Parade.  Cindy Mesenbrink was named Volunteer of the Year for her tireless commitment to Relay For Life, as Chairperson for 2012 and 2013.  She is also involved in the Soroptimist Club, quilt club, helping at school and church.  Cindy never refuses to help.  And finally, Citizen of the Year was given to Michael Gurling.  He wears many hats, including retired Park Ranger, former Forks Visitor Information Center Manager (and now Chamber volunteer), Rainforest Arts Center building manager (past and future) and Rainforest Player.  Mike’s love of Forks and the surrounding area has been evident with his career choices and hobbies.

Michael Gurling and Marcia Bingham

Forks Chamber of Commerce is very proud to have volunteers Marcia Yanish, Willard Morgan, Izaiah Calloway and Log Tour Drivers Jack Zaccardo, Randy Mesenbrink, Joe Seymour and Mike Wendell.    The 2013 Board of Directors are Bill Peach, President; Susan Brager, Vice-President; Pura Carlson, Treasurer; Pam Hunter, Secretary; Debbie Scannell, Past President and At-Large Members Don Grafstrom, Bruce Paul, Ellen Matheny and Walter Kochansky.  Representatives from the City and Quileute Tribe will be named at a later date.  We could not operate successfully if it weren’t for our volunteers.

Carrol Lunsford talks with Stephanie and Kevin Conway of Lake Quinault Resort.

The evening was a success, not only because of the great attendance or the silent auction (a huge thank you to all the businesses and people that donated goods and services) but because we came together as a community and showed appreciation for what makes this a great place – the people who live here.

Pets in Forks

October 12th, 2012 by Lissy Andros

Forks has changed from a farming community to whatever it is now, and animals have remained important to residents through the various transitions.

Friends of Forks Animals have a message phone listed in the phone book for issues related to animals in Forks.  A nice lady listens to the messages on a regular basis and directs inquires to the appropriate places.

Everywhere dogs and cats, often horses, goats, werewolves (just kidding) and other animals abound.  Used to be a llama was an unusual site here on the west end.  Not so anymore.

There’s room in Forks for new and additional businesses, and several potentials exist with regard to animals.  Pet sitting, training and grooming, pet attire, specialty pet foods, pet housing – all are possibilities for entrepreneurs.  Start with an idea, add some creativity, some hard work, a lot of energy, and you may have a tiger by the tail.  Just a figure of speech:  I haven’t seen any tigers in town.

Forks Old Fashioned 4th of July photos…

August 11th, 2012 by contributor

Check out our online photo albums to see new pictures of this year’s Forks Old Fashioned 4th of July parade.

Thank you to Mike Gurling, Visitor Center Manager, for sharing your pictures! Click on the picture to view the Local Events photo album.


Forks Old Fashioned 4th of July


The Supper Quilt

March 7th, 2012 by contributor


The Supper Quilt. This monumental pieced quilt, composed of 51,816 half-inch squares, is modeled on Leonardo deVinci’s famous work, “The Last Supper” (Milan, Italy). Dr. Locke worked on it for two and a half years, first creating a computer generated image of the original, enlarged to show pixels. He then selected, cut and sorted by color the 350 different fabrics used, including some of his own hand-dyed fabric. Other hand-dyed fabrics are from Joy Press of Godley, TX. The pieces were arranged on a design wall and then sewed together in strips, using a Singer Featherweight sewing machine. It is 15.3 feet wide and 5.5 feet high.

After about 1200 hours of work, the emerging design became apparent. The top was then machine quilted by Linda Taylor of Melissa, TX. The machine quilting presented a new set of problems because the size of the piece, and because the image was not apparent to anyone working close to the fabric. Linda states that it was the most challenging quilting work she has ever done.

The Supper Quilt was finished in September of 1999.

For more information, please go to The Supper’s website

The Supper Quilt will be featured at The Fabric of the Forest Quilt Show April 20 – 22 in Forks.  For more information please click here.

supper quilt paint

Zorbing in Forks, Washington… well almost!

February 10th, 2012 by contributor

Cojones NW… you gotta HAVE ’em to RIDE ’em!

We are Debbie & Randy Bennett of Team Forks Twilight tours of Forks.. we would like to get the word out on a new venture we are starting in response to a frequent query from “our” tourists : Now what is there to do ?

We can pretty much guarantee there’s nothing else like this around.

We aren’t officially open just yet, the grand opening is March 1st, 2012 and the hours will be : noon to dusk – Thursday thru Sunday at first.

The following “letter” covers the gist of it.

I was following my good friend’s advice by traveling to the tiny “town” of Beaver.

Beaver is THE tinyest town ever… and it’s just a wolfs leap from Forks, the famous home of all things “twilight” on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.

My destination has the thought provoking name of “Cojones NW” and the promise of “a thrill outside the ordinary”… “something waaay different” , according to my buddy.

After an absolutely GORGEOUS drive thru northwest Washington, I arrived at their facility on a hillside overlooking an equally gorgeous valley, with sweeping views of evergreens ascending the nearby mountains which enveloped us..
Here I learned the details of my adventure :   Big Ball, me in it, zoom !

Well, I am up for almost ANYTHING that promises diversion from the workaday world, and the additional promise of outrageous excitement works for me.
sooo, while waiting my turn,

I watched as eagles rode the air currents overhead, ….also I had been told that several different herds of Roosevelt elk roamed this property & I could see evidence of that.

I also laughed myself silly at the antics of those taking their “spin” ahead of me, just watching the boarding procedure is hilarious, and then there’s the varying degrees of terror on their faces as they are launched .   The screams were mixed with laughter.
That those same faces registered glee ( not just relief ) at the landing pad made me excited to get to it myself. Soon enough, it was my turn to climb the 23 degree slope to the rooftop launch, and perform a running leap at the entrance of my strange “ride”.

The sounds of laughter proved others enjoyed my performance.

I finally found myself securely inside a bubble, a large inner chamber itself suspended within a huge, ten foot, hundred and fifty pound sphere of clear plastic.
There are two tunnel entrances, which can be closed or open.

This gorgeous day I have chosen to ride in my shorts and selected the option of the addition of five gallons of warm water to my bubble, so I am not in a harness, I am FREE to slosh around..

I am about to be launched from Cojones NW’s 16′ high staging area .. the view is really intense from up here….oh my…oh crap….whooaaa…. WHEEE… here I GO …gaining speed while rolling down the 40′ ramp on the whackest, funnest waterslide ride I have ever had, (because with the addition of the h2o, you slosh around on the bottom as the ball rolls..) all the looong way down the specially designed 600′ track.

Gravity is in complete control, and there are no brakes … my squirming and screaming does seem to have some effect, however …
No worries, even if ya go “dry”… the balls wash up nicely with just a hose.

All in all, a very good day, sure to be repeated. These guys are very reasonable.. they charge less than half the cost per ride as the New Zealand site does..

I will drag friends and family next times, so as not to be laughed at only by strangers….

This activity was invented by Dwayne van der Sluis and Andrew Akers in New Zealand in 1995 as something exciting for tourists to do once they became jaded with bungee jumping.
What they call Zorbing has large numbers of enthusiastic participants, not only in New Zealand but also in the US, Europe and elsewhere.

We here at Cojones NW are delighted to offer an American version of this outrageous, addictive, and also very affordable adventure.

Cojones NW
60 Magnolia Rd., Beaver, WA  98305

cohones nw pic paint

Forks January Winter Snow Storm

January 19th, 2012 by contributor

Forks has received 12-14 inches of snow causing school closures all week and getting around has been difficult.

Here are a few images of Forks showing this Winter Wonderland.

january winter snow scenes

A note from Judith

January 5th, 2012 by contributor

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of escorting Judith, a German Travel Agent around Forks. With the help of a very kind translator (Christian at Hard Rain Cafe on the Upper Hoh Rd) I found out Judith was here to find out about Forks and the surrounding area for her company, and why their customers should visit this area.   She was looking for specific lodging establishments and couldn’t find them so I offered to drive her.  There was a language barrier to say the least.  She spoke very little English and I speak only two languages – English and Texan.   After a lot of talking with our hands, pointing at things, speaking slowly and silence, we made it through the tour.  She was a very warm person and when we parted she gave me one heck of a hug.

I emailed her after she left, using Google Translator and I heard back from her last week.

Today we had a couple of visitors from Germany, a man and his daughter taking in the Twilight sites.  I asked him to translate her email and he did.  It was very emotional for me to hear him go on about how friendly everybody was that she encountered.  That even though she was alone, she wasn’t lonely or bored.  And how beautiful everything was.  Judith hopes to return some day with her family for vacation and I hope I get to see her when she does.

Below is the email I received…

Ich wünsche euch ein gesundes und erfolgreiches neues Jahr.Ich denke jeden Tag einmal an meinen Urlaub. Es war eine wundervolle Zeit.Es zu beschreiben ist fast unmöglich.Eines ist ganz sicher,ich komme wieder.Wie soll man etwas erklären,das sich mir jeden Tag neu und einzigartig gezeigt hat.Ich versuche gerade zu beschreiben was ich gesehen habe. Ich wurde oft gefragt ob es mir nicht langweilig geworden ist,so alleine.Nein,kein einzigesmal.Jeden Tag war ich aufs neue gefesselt von der Natur.Der Wald bot immer wieder neue Eindrücke und das Meer stand ihm in  nichts nach.Der Nebel veränderte immer wieder das Bild und so erschienen immer neue Bilder, die mich beeindruckten,auch die Sonnenuntergänge sind mir unvergessen.Es ist eben mehr als nur Twilight.Man sollte mit offenen Augen alles betrachten.Einen guten Eindruck hinterließen auch die Leute aus Forks bei mir,egal ob es beim einkaufen oder sonst einer Gelegenheit war,trotz meiner Sprachunkenntnis waren alle sehr nett zu mir.Danke Schön für die Herzlichkeit.Auch meine Vermieterin war ein richtiger Schatz und für die Hilfe von der Dame vom Müller Tree Inn bei meiner Ankunft,kann ich nur danke sagen. Ich hoffe ihr alle habt ein erfolgreiches neues Jahr,das wünsche ich euch und freue mich wenn ich eines Tages wieder einmal Urlaub machen kann.


Forks Athletic & Aquatic Club

December 13th, 2011 by contributor

faac gym
Forks Athletic & Aquatic Club is having their Grand Opening Celebration December 17th – December 23rd 2011. There will be specials on rates (monthly and yearly), juice samples from The Juice Bar, facility tours, membership orientations on weights and more. The membership rate during the Grand Opening will be $30 per month or $325 per year. This includes use of pool, weights, cardio equipment and classes. Located on Maple Avenue, the club will feature cardio equipment such as treadmills, exercise bikes and step machines, free weights, resistance machines, spin classes, aerobics and more. The club will be open 24/7 and the pool will be open 5am – 9pm with lifeguards on duty. Locker rooms for men and women, baby sitting in the evenings and The Juice Bar are some of the amenities they offer.


Ruby Swagerty, owner of Forks Athletic & Aquatic Club, said family swim will be offered in the evenings to members. She is contacting local lodging establishments and for a fee will offer day use of the club to visitors to Forks. Ruby has been working in the fitness industry since she was 19 years old and loves teaching people about good health.

17th Annual Forks Chamber of Commerce “Wine & Cheese” Fundraiser

October 29th, 2011 by contributor

Don’t miss a gala evening sponsored by the Forks Chamber of Commerce, which benefits the Visitor Information Center.

The evening includes a silent auction, wine & beer tasting along with soft drinks and snacks. Music is also included along with some great socializing while you are placing your bids on some unique items.

Cost is $10 per person which includes two drinks. Another highlight of the evening are awards given to the Citizen, Volunteer and Business of the Year for Forks. This year the theme is “Just say cheese…”

2011 wine and cheese poster

Last Chance Salmon Derby – Oct. 1 & 2

October 6th, 2011 by contributor

winners 2011 close-up - webWinners from left to right: Willard Quinn (Bainbridge Island) 32.4 lb Chinook; Tom Torgeson (Fox Island) 31.9lb Chinook; Brian Short (Kingston) 28.3lb Chinook; Steve Brower (Forks) 12.9lb Coho; Don Sandstrom (Spokane) 12.4lb Coho; Wilson Easton (Port Angeles) 16.1lb Coho; Gary Keenan (Tracyton) 15.2lb bottom fish.
The Last Chance Salmon Derby was held on October 1st & 2nd at La Push. This fun event is co-sponsored each year by the City of Forks, the Forks Chamber of Commerce and the Quileute Tribe.

The Derby was well attended with 105 tickets sold.  The weather forecast wasn’t favorable early in the week so that probably kept some fishermen away.  The waves weren’t as bad Saturday as they were predicting, but still bad.  Sunday was calmer but colder and it did not rain which was most helpful.  As far as the leader board went, Wilson Easton stayed on top the whole time.  He and his dad, Dave Easton brought the first two fish in, the elder Easton with a Chinook.  They were the first two on the board.  The fish came in slow and steady and the leader board kept changing.  At one time a young lady, McKenna Minnoch (9 years old) was on the board with a coho.   She was presented with a special “Sportsman” award.

It was dramatic towards the cutoff on Sunday when Tom Torgeson brought in a Chinook at 11:59 knocking off the third place and putting him in second place.  The derby ended at noon on Sunday.

At the end of the derby there was a great drawing for ticket holders with many great donations from our sponsors and local merchants. It was most fortunate that the weather and current cooperated well enough that the derby went as planned without any cancellations or curtailments. Congratuations to this year’s winners!


Remember the “Old Times”

October 4th, 2011 by contributor

A highlight of the annual West End Business and Professional Association Heritage Days celebration is the Fish and Brew.  Each year attendees are treated to various smoke fish recipes and local brew creations.  Judges award prizes and people’s choice awards are also bestowed on the best fish and the best brew.

Along with great Fish and brew musical entertainment will be provided by “Loose Gravel.”

Another regular feature of this event is a Jack Datisman faux beer label print, each year the print reflects the theme of that years Heritage Days.  The Heritage Day’s theme this year is “I Remember When…….”

In keeping with that premise Datisman’s label this year is for “Old Times” Premium Quality Beer.  Label prints will also be available for sale.

The Fish and Brew is Saturday October 8th from 1-4 at the Old Mill Roundhouse located just off Highway 101 at the LaPush Junction.   “When you are remembering when…don’t forget the Old Times.”


The Great Forks Fire

September 19th, 2011 by contributor

newspaper article

Sixty years ago today a few hot spots remained from a forest fire near Camp Creek.  On September 20, 1951, the humidity dropped and a strong east wind gave life to those remaining embers.  Around 3:00 am on September 20, 1951 a forest fire began its devastating journey down the Calawah River Valley and the citizens of Forks awoke to a rapidly moving fire, headed right for them.  The fire burned 38,000 acres overnight and traveled 18 miles in less than 8 hours, and a desperate effort to save the town began.

Marge Walhgren, a mother of 2 small children, had learned from her mother that there was a forest fire burning.  She recalls going outside that morning and the eeriness of the dark sky during daylight hours.  She says she thought it was raining at first and then she realized it was not rain hitting her face, it was bits of bark, ash and needles falling like rain.  Preparing for possible evacuation she washed diapers and set out her “valuables” to take, her silverware, on the dining room table.  At around 2:15 that afternoon the State Patrol ordered evacuation of women and children.  Volunteers coming in to help fight the fire reported a steady stream of evacuees throughout the day but those remaining had about 15 minutes to pack up and leave before the highway to Port Angeles was cut off.  Wahlgren grabbed the children and the diapers but in the rush totally forgot about her “valuables” her silverware.  Walhgren’s father had just completed building a 40 ft fishing trawler, it sat a block off of main street, he and Walhlgren’s husband Richard stayed behind to save what they could, mainly the trawler.  Walhgren made it to Port Angeles and she remembers the most frustrating thing was trying to get information about what was happening in Forks.  There were rumors that “there was nothing left” “the town is gone”.

When the fire had burned to where Ron’s Food Mart is today, it looked like a losing battle, one witness said houses were exploding like matches.  Then sometime after 6 pm, a southwest breeze sprang up, in a matter of minutes the fire rolled back on itself.  While the danger was not over the town was spared.  Around 38 structures were lost but there was no loss of life. After the fire a state forestry supervisor said, “The saving of Forks was a miracle, made up of hard work, guts and luck.”

Images of America “Forks”

August 18th, 2011 by brad


The Forks Timber Museum is home to local artifacts, displays and a fantastic collection of  photos.  Many of these photos have been compiled in to an Images Of America series book.  From the arrival of the Ford family in 1878 to the arrival of Twilight fans more recently, the story of our hardy little community is told in photos and captions.  Early settlers endured the elements and isolation and many of their descendants still call Forks home.  The book is available at Forks True Value and Chinook Pharmacy and many other Forks businesses.
The book can be purchased and shipped from Chinook Pharmacy, call them at 360-374-5030 for details.

Twilight Twoilet

August 1st, 2011 by contributor


The members of West End Business & Professional Association and Forks Chamber of Commerce have gone in together on two Sanicans placed downtown for the summer tourists.  Merchants in the area of the stoplight had been complaining about Twilight visitors using their restrooms which are usually back in store rooms and not meant for public use.

So a regular sanican was delivered first and when the folks at West Waste and Recycling delivered the second one it had a custom paint job, I call it the “Twilight Twoilet.”
Now visitors can have their pick Regular or Twilight!

It’s The Mayor’s Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 Contest!

July 27th, 2011 by contributor

How would you like to be Mayor of Forks for a day? Mayor Bryon Monohon has come up with a contest “The Mayor’s Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 Contest”! In addition to being mayor for a day the winner will receive a gift basket valued at $100.00. Details about the contest can be found on the City of Forks website. I wonder what Part 2 is?


Vampires, Baseball and The Olympic Peninsula!

July 22nd, 2011 by contributor


Baseball it’s just a game, right? Well, on Saturday August 27th the Seattle Mariner’s are celebrating Olympic Peninsula Appreciation Night! This is the 2nd annual Vampire Night at Safeco Field, the evening will also feature the Color Guard Presentation by Boy Scout Troop #1467 (Forks, WA). Vampires, Baseball and the Olympic Peninsula……hopefully, a winning combination? Go Mariner’s!