Lake Cushman, Washington


WOKE UP TODAY on the Olympic Peninsula after 12 glorious hours of sleep I apparently needed. There’s nothing in the world like road sleep and its restorative, dreamless oblivion.


I’m roosting in this log cabin up at the top of the hill. It’s the second of five buildings that Jan and Connie Nelson constructed here at their camp on Lake Cushman. Between the log cabin and the crest of the hill you have the cook house and the bath house, and down below, close to shore, there’s the picnic shelter and the love shack, or Jan and Connie’s boudoir, for you continental types.

Overnight, two enormous driftwood logs fetched up against the boat dock. They’re 40 feet long or so. The smaller of the two is about 30 inches in diameter, the larger might be closer to 40 inches. Jan and our friend Jim Hanna and I towed them to the cove by Jim’s camp. If there’s any good lumber in them, it’ll get sawed out on the bandsaw mill.



That’s the smaller log, larger one’s under it.



We hooked onto the bottom one with Jan’s jet boat and towed them both over to Jim’s.



Stuck my boot on one of them, to show you the scale.



Here’s Jim and Jan nudging the logs into the cove with the work boat. The jet boat’s an expensive watercraft to use on this part of the job.



There’s the jet boat tied up when we were done.



After the driftwood wrangling, Dan, an old friend of Jim’s, dropped in and they went off flying somewhere.



Here they are motoring up to the Nelsons’ dock later on.



There’s pilot Dan, been flying since he was 16 and has restored a number of vintage planes. This one’s a ’73 Super Cub. He also owns and flies a DC-3.



There he goes, taking off for home.



This may seem odd, only because it is, but the Nelsons have taken to  naming their dogs after Jim Hanna. Last dog was Hanna, this one goes by Jimmy.



There’s a game where Jimmy jumps into the lake after a stick…



… climbs out of the water via the stairway by the dock and…



…finds somebody to dry off next to. Here, Jan adopts an I-don’t-care attitude, do yer worst, ya soggy beast.



Yesterday we knocked up a frame for three more solar panels, to  supplement the ones on the bathhouse roof. This is upper camp, bath house on the left, cook house on the right.



The wood-fired hot tub between the two, just under the crest of the hill.



Here’s the picnic shelter in lower camp, down by the shore line.



Hot and cold running water, wood stove, gas range, gas heat, gas refrigerator, internet router…



A lovely place to sit and get some work done. Jan, a true-blue Microsoft man from Redmond HQ, doesn’t even care if I work on that Macbook. Which is what I’m planning to do this week. Connie’s out here for the summer, Jan’s headed back to the big city tonight, will return on Wednesday. Dunno how long I’ll be here. Maybe a while if the work is going well. Or maybe the bride will fly out from Rhode Island, in which case I’ll be here and the work won’t matter. Otherwise, the road will speak up one day and I’ll be gone. Will head east for home, or maybe south down the Pacific coast, won’t know until the iron piggy fires up and needs to be pointed somewhere.

Tony DePaul, Lake Cushman, WA, June 30, 2013



About Tony

The occasional scribblings of Tony DePaul, 63, father, grandfather, husband, freelance writer in many forms, ex-journalist, long-distance motorcycle rider, motorcycle wrecker, motorcycle rebuilder, collector of surgical hardware, blue routes wanderer, outdoorsman, topo map bushwhacker, handy with a wrench, hammer, chainsaw, rifle, former photographer, printer, logger, truck driver, truck mechanic, jet fueler… blah blah...
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10 Responses to Lake Cushman, Washington

  1. Tarquino Félix says:

    It’s a lovely place for sure! I fell in love since the first photo! 😀 Nice to know you’re having a great time, Tony! Blessings from Tampico!

  2. Suzie says:

    Thanks for letting us live vicariously, Paul. Your words and pics are beautiful! All the best from friends Mike & Suzie near RI

    • Suzie says:

      Paul? Who’s Paul? Sorry about that, Tony! I was just looking for another reason to post. Give my best to your wonderful bride. I hope she makes it out to the Olympic Peninsula for a visit.

  3. Chris Whitney says:

    I remember seeing photos of the build progress on the main cabin. Lotsa love and craftsmanship in there. Looks like the proverbial idyllic spot, as it were, to hang out for a while. Hope the words come easy!


  4. Mari says:

    Stay thru the weekend have Pam fly out and we’ll get to see you both #thatswhatyoushoulddo:)

  5. Matthew Reed says:


    Great pix and ‘decent’ writing. 😉 Makes me want to be there.
    Many toothpicks under that boot in the log shot, give or take a splinter.
    God loves the hounds as it always seems like playtime to them. Lovely animals, they are.
    Share some shots from above if you get in the air, sounds like you’ve got access to the interwebz or something close to it.

    Thanks for sharing – Be safe.


    Matthew Reed
    Bettendorf, Iowa

  6. William Stenger says:

    Tony, you’re living the dream! Enjoy the great Northwest (Northwet, as some refer to it) and may God speed be with you on Piggy.

  7. Fantastic place! I’m envious of you! I’m impacted by the water clearness. great images. greetings from Tampico.

  8. Sharon says:

    What a great place to take a break, it would be hard to leave there.
    Sharon and Butch

  9. Bill says:

    Looks like a great place to relax (when they’re not working).

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