The drive to Forks was really beautiful. You have to drive along the parameter of Lake Crescent, which is a large and very reflective lake. Sarah and I both noted the quaint lodges along the side of the lake for visitors. We remarked that would be a nice place to stay.
We arrived in Forks when it was close to complete darkness. We did a first pass along the main drag to see which motels were available and what our options were. We decided to try the Forks Motel. I went in there right after 4 people, waited about 10 minutes to discover that there were no rooms available. Sarah and I decided to try the first place we saw that was AAA certified after that. It was at the front part of town. We drove there and went to the back entrance where we discovered there were no vacancies.
We tried 2 other motels with the same results and we wondered what was going on that weekend that would cause this phenomena. Finally we spotted the Bagby's Motel that advertised "Clean Cozy Rooms" on it's marquee. I knew what cozy meant, but I figured it was better than sleeping in the car. The jingle of the bells attached to the door got the attention of the older woman that was in a backroom. We asked her if she had any rooms and she said "Well, I have a duplex that isn't attached to the main rooms." She gave us the key and when I asked if she needed a key deposit she asked "Are you going to steel it?" I was a bit taken aback but responded with a simple "No, I will not be stealing it." Sarah then asked where the room was and the lady gave her directions like "You turn left than a quick right and another quick right." Sarah inquired on the street name, but the woman didn't know the name. That was the second red flag.
Sarah and I accidentally turned right and then another right so we had to turn around to find the obscure street this "duplex" was located on. We finally found it and one look between us communicated that we might have arrived at the Bates Motel. This duplex was no such thing. It was a tiny, run-down shack with worn-down paint and warn-down wood stairs. I turned the key and looked tentatively at Sarah. We walked in to find a shabby living room and kitchenette. I walked to the bedroom on the left and turned on the light while Sarah walked into the bedroom on the right only to get startled because she walked into cobwebs! I walked over to that room and tried to turn on the light but it wouldn't turn on.
That is when Sarah left me in her dust--not even looking back for me. I left the dump and had to lock the door, all the while reminding Sarah that there was safety in numbers! I guess she wasn't taking any chances.
We drove back to the motel office. I ran in and handed the key over to the lady, saying with a tactful smirk on my face "The room really wasn't our style." The woman chuckled under her breath, no doubt excited to win a bet she had most likely made with her husband in the backroom. She knew we wouldn't want to stay.
The Bagby's motel in daylight hours:
We made a last ditch effort to find a place by going to the local grocery store and asking if there were any places they knew of. Two ladies helped us and I was able to talk to one motel keeper that suggested the Bear Creek Cabins, which were 15 miles outside of Forks. They actually had a room, so Sarah and I drove to meet the motel clerk at the Hungry Bear Restaurant to pay and get the key. At this point it was pretty late (or maybe our stressful day made it seem so) so we were glad to see the light on in the restaurant as promised. Sarah and I walked in and were met with the most acrid cooking grease smell you can imagine. While I was paying, Sarah looked up to see taxidermied animals that had dust bunnies growing on them. The woman helping us let us know that the restaurant opened at 5:30 and she hoped to see us there. There was no way in heck that Sarah, nor I, would be willing to eat there!
Our cabin wasn't far from the restaurant and it really wasn't that bad. Okay, Sarah would probably disagree with me. The first thing we noticed was that the sink was in the living room, not the bathroom. Not too bad. Weird, but not too bad.
But then I turned on the light in the bathroom to discover the hugest mosquito eater I have ever seen! Sarah was able to take care of it.
I quickly brushed my teeth and got into bed, noting that at least the sheets were clean.
Sarah turned on the lamp set on the table in between our beds (using a tissue so her hands wouldn't get contaminated, by the way) and she kept the light on--just in case. Well, we were lying there talking for a few minutes and I just happened to look down at the floor between us to discover a cockroach walking near my bed. I told Sarah to kill it (since she did such a good job with the mosquito and she had shoes next to her bed). She killed it under my bed. Suffice it to say I woke up quite often asking myself "Are there any bugs on me?"
Our cabin in daylight hours:
The next morning we got up and quickly got ready. I dropped off the key (the woman was very miffed that we weren't eating there) and we were on our way south back through Forks.