We knew that we were entering a different place when we crossed the border into the North West Territories. The road started out as a nice two lane blacktop (of course no shoulders or guardrails) but quickly deteriorated to a narrow muddy lane. After about a hundred miles of wilderness, we were in Fort Liard, a native settlement with a free campground. We were surprised when a whole herd of bison appeared out of nowhere. We were the only ones there except some young German hippies. We continued to Fort Simpson on the Waterfalls Route. We took another ferry and began to notice all of the smoke in the air. This is the only place in the world that has a license plate in the shape of a bear. Driving from Fort Simpson east towards Hay River, the visibility was almost zero because of the smoke. We later learned that this each year, the NWT has about 250 forest fires, but because of the record heat and lack of rain, this year, the fires have been even worse. I was afraid to continue but I some decided that most of the smog was due to high humidity and not just the wood smoke. We saw several beautiful waterfalls on our way to Hays River on the shores of the Great Slave Lake.