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Out of the canyon and onto open mountain slopes, sunshine and simple terrain buoyed us toward the River Styx.

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A herd of caribou shuffled past. Our route again fed into a canyon, this one made of golden granite and clear water similar to Arizona’s Salome Creek. Eventually, we climbed out, ambling across tundra laced with caribou trails.

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Weary with sore feet and cramping shoulders, we stumbled onto a cobble beach bordering the Styx, the jewel at the heart of our route, and the river valley that started it all. Again, we floated, joyously.

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Another 10 pm camp, satisfied by having reached our goal. We had crossed the River Styx!

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