Despite having tried to drag out my recap of our weekend in the Shenandoahs for as long as possible - which is another way of saying that I haven't had time to go through more than one day's worth of photos - we've finally come to the last day of our trip! Charlie had done lots of swimming on Saturday and Sunday, but Jon and I wanted some beach time, too, so as we drove down the mountain, reentering civilization and LGT service, we set our GPS to Arrowhead Lake.
(We really didn't have any internet or phone access at the cabin! Jon was worried that I'd crack, which I'm pretty sure isn't a compliment, but it was actually super refreshing not to be able to check email or social media while we were out there.)
Arrowhead isn't far past Luray, the town we drove through on our way to the cabin, but we were taken on a really pretty meandering route through farmland on backroads to get there. It was gorgeous! Jon and I concocted this whole plan wherein he'd sell out, go corporate, and make tons o' money so we could buy a place out in the countryside - a second home, obviously, because in this fantasy we'd have already bought our dream house in DC - for weekend retreats. By the time we pulled into the park, we were discussing the grounds and landscaping that we'd require the property to have.
All that was forgotten, though, when we stepped out of the car and Charlie, in his boundless enthusiasm, demanded we be present in the here and now. We took a walk around the periphery of the 34-acre lake - the ducks we disturbed, needless to say, would have preferred Charlie to have been present neither there nor then, but that's another story - before settling on the beach for sun and swimming.
We had to keep Charlie on his leash while we were there, but he didn't seem to notice. He swam like an otter, paddling in lazy circles at first and then following us out to the pontoon. With a little guidance, he clambered up the ladder and we regained our strength above the middle of the lake, jumping back in and swimming back to shore when we were ready to lie out on the sand with our books. Charlie stretched out beside our towel, keeping a watchful eye on the children around us, and nudged us after about an hour for another swim. We struck out for the pontoon again but, this time, Charlie refused to jump off when we were ready to go back to the beach! Jon dove into the water first and I held Charlie's leash on the pontoon, encouraging him to hop into the water, but he totally and irrationally balked. Thinking it would help, I passed the leash to Jon and jumped in next to him; Jon tugged the leash a bit, but Charlie stood his ground. We called lovingly to him and he slowly inched to the edge, whimpering. There were a handful of other people on the pontoon with us and another dozen in the water nearby, all cheering Charlie on as he hovered at the side of the pontoon. Finally, after a a few long and pathetic minutes, Charlie launched himself into the water and landed practically in my arms. Everyone whooped and we swam back to shore, exhausted and either pleased (Charlie) or mortified (Jon and me).
Unfortunately, as the day stretched into the afternoon, we had to leave to strike out for DC, but it was the perfect end to a gorgeous weekend!