I spent this past weekend by a lake 7,000 feet high, where the air smelled like pine and dirt and other bits of heaven. What I liked about it most was that the days went by slowly, very slowly, but not the kind of slow you could ever be bored with. Something about looking at the mountains and lake and inhaling pine entertains me endlessly.

Until I started making lists. In my head. And the list got so big that I started to write it onto a legal pad. And it took up two pages. Then I frantically roamed the woods with my laptop looking for a wireless signal from a neighboring cabin until I found one and sat myself in the middle of the dirt road and sent off emails like a frantic wild animal.

Yes, I need to learn how to take a vacation. I think this is what planning myriad projects at once does to you. When my book tour is over, and my pilot is taped and my second book trips are planned I will try to do without internet for two days. Until then, I bought a wireless plug-in for my computer so I will no longer be found crouched in the woods with a laptop.

This was the view from the deck. Isn’t it lovely?

The lake is just between those trees. It’s called Huntington Lake and there was a sailboat regatta going on. Hundreds of white sails fluttering in the wind. A lot of the families that come up here have been doing it for over a century… the family names are carved into little wooden slats along the roadside.

One of the things I discovered at this lovely place I was staying at was this:

Can you guess what it is? It reminded me of something Hemingway would have used.

It really is the only civilized way to hike I decided.

You see, it gives you options. Depending on your mood as you stroll up the mountain and decide… I’m in the mood for a bit of brandy.

Or scotch.

Or gin.

Then off comes the lid…

Then you retrieve one of the charming silver shots from the center of this divine invention…

And you pour yourself a cocktail, for that extra boost you may need to make it to the mountain peak.

I think it’s genius. Fitted with a handsome leather strap.

And if you need backup for your hike…

There’s this:

That, my friends, is how you hike like Hemingway.