CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As I write this, I'm coming down from one of the best weekends of my life.
My head's still down by the Greenbrier River. My heart is in Lewisburg, which I'm thinking might now be my favorite place.
In 2011, Budget Travel magazine designated Lewisburg as the "Coolest Small Town in America." Now I know why.
I traveled to the area (to nearby Ronceverte) for a girls' weekend in a small trailer that was advertised as being "down near the water."
Near the water, it was. But it was also near railroad tracks.
Still, it had been ages since I'd had a grown-up weekend away, and can't remember a time when I needed a trip more than this. There was a bonus in that nearby Lewisburg was holding its first-ever Literary Festival that same weekend.
Because of the festival, many of my writer friends I normally see only once a year, at a conference, were in town. Among them one of the festival's featured authors, Lee Maynard, who invited me to join him for dinner at his place.
Earlier the same day, I'd heard that the festival's other two guest authors, Jerry West and Homer Hickam, were staying at The Greenbrier, so I made the assumption that Maynard was staying there too. I thought "dinner at his place" meant a fine steak from The Greenbrier.
I should've taken into consideration some of what I knew about Maynard -- that he's an avid outdoorsman who worked many years as a mountaineer and professional river runner, that he was national director of operations for Outward Bound and a member of the "Outlaw Writers."
That he was so amused when I said something about him being at The Greenbrier.
Because technically, he was.
Except his place was the Greenbrier River.
In a little rented camper. With a neat little fire pit.
Where he cooked our steaks.