The Blackwater River National Park holds the only white sand river in the whole United States and it's beautiful. The water is too cold for alligators, which would have been a large deterrent in my willingness to go. The river was rarely too deep to stand in and you could easily see to the bottom. Our friend enjoyed repeatedly telling me that there were tree snakes and snapping turtles, but as long as I could see danger a-coming, I knew I'd be okay.
This was Shadow's first foray into the wide world of boating. She didn't quite grasp the idea of weight distribution or oars. As I perched on our cooler full of Gatorade, Shadow hopped back and forth in utter rapture of every partially submerged tree stump or plunge of the bright red oar. She had me convinced we were going to flip every 5 minutes, which required a shriek that I'm sure my canoe buddies truly appreciated. Shadow also found it completely unacceptable that we did not stop at every single beach so that she could explore. Her whines could be heard for miles. When we did stop, she decided it was no longer time to listen to us, and sprinted from one end of the beach to the other.
Photo evidence of Shadow corraling.
I'd say that everyone had a pretty good time. The only sunburnt part of my is my poor scalp (someone remind me to sunscreen my head next time I put it back in braids before sitting in direct sunlight for 4 hours). If you're ever in the area of Blackwater and you've got a day to spend floating down the river, I highly suggest it! There's a rental company that offers canoes, tubes, and plenty of other water sport items to maximize your river enjoyment.