Postcard From Shaw


I spent last weekend with six other guys at a cozy cabin on Shaw Island in the San Juans, a 90-minute drive and one-hour ferry outside of Seattle. It was a terrific weekend. The cabin belongs to my friend Damon's family, and Damon gets to use the place every now and then. So he invited a bunch of guys up for an escape from the city.

Aside from the two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a loft used as a bedroom, the cabin was essentially one greatroom with a tiny kitchen on one side, a cast iron fireplace, and a solarium (an entire wall and sloped roof of windows and skylights). The solarium looked onto a rocky private beach and the placid water of a small cove, and the cabin was surrounded by evergreens. About the only amenity really missing was a hot tub.

We spent the weekend eating, reading, playing games, and relaxing. It was sublime. Michael and I were the newcomers to the group, many of whom Damon has known for years and taken to Shaw before, so they had things down to a routine. We all chipped in for supplies for the weekend-- food, drink, TP-- which we carted in and out with us, and meals were communal and simple (grilled sausages, Boboli pizza, bagel sandwiches, scrambled eggs) but remarkably tasty. Three of the guys were new to me, and I was delighted to get along well with all of them. The whole weekend just had a great vibe to it. No deer were shot and no fish were caught, but this experience helps me understand part of the allure of hunting. It's not the act itself (well, for some I'm sure it is), but the comraderie of hanging out with the fellas in a simple, natural environment with few distractions or responsibilities.

We played a bunch of games, but it was the overall coziness of the place and the easy familiarity of the people-- even the ones I'd just met-- that mattered, shrinking the world down to just that table in just that moment. There's something magical about sharing food, too-- prepping together, cooking together, eating together, pitching in to clean up. I wish I could put my finger on what it is, but it brings people closer than merely occupying the same space does.

If I ever run a gaming event, this is the vibe I'd want to create.


Sounds like a great time. I'm waiting for my kids to move out and my wife to leave me so I can enjoy times like that again.

Most of the friends we had up are saddled with a wife and child(ren) it's nice to see these people out, I'm sure their better half's and fractions feel the same way too.
good times, nice postcard!

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