Its beauty was in the variation that it offered. In hot June days of 30 degrees centigrade, when the sun scarcely sets and it is dry for weeks on end – the interior of Alaska is a desert by definition– we could open all the flaps up and allow the breeze to blow through. The canvas kept us cool and shaded in a way synthetic tents cannot do. As much as we could we slept on sandbars in the middle of the river, far from where we might stumble on a bear. There was fresh water from the creeks, piles of drift to build a fire, vast space and total silence. Camped on an island, watching a 2am dusk that merges into a dawn, watching a moose swimming a channel to the far shore, we felt very lucky to be there.