There's really not too much to say about a nine hour drive through pretty much nothing, but boy, I'mma give it a try anyway.
Here we are, on the road to El Paso. We're still pretty close to Austin, hence the trees still being, you know, existent.
First pit stop was in Fredericksburg. Food was, of course, consumed. I'm not the sort of person who can say no to potato pancakes with applesauce, much to my waistlines chagrin.
We might have also bought some truffles, and I might have eaten all of my share before we even made it to grandpa's house. I'm neither confirming or denying.
I promised Pater I would tell no one of his car related shame, but trust me when I say that this photo will always be hilarious. Also, that's a pretty decent attempt at trees for west Texas. Good effort!
Despite this state maintaining a rather disagreeable love affair with oil, windmills have been popping up. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get a good photo of the field of pump jacks with windmills in the background.
I was encouraged to see that apparently the windmills aren't just a passing energy fad, as we passed a truck loaded with parts.
(Pater called this photo the random phalluses. As we're both perpetually twelve this provided more entertainment than is probably healthy.)
At one of the gas stations coming back home we were confronted by a trio of feral dogs, that weren't so feral that they wouldnt follow me around begging.
Coming home the central Texas fires were already well underway. We were lucky enough that we didn't get stranded or rerouted through road closures, but approaching the ring of fire around Austin was pretty horrifying.
For most of the drive, the sky was absolutely cloudless. But as we approached Johnson we could see a rather disconcerting purple smudge low on the horizon.
While we were passing beneath the plume the light turned an eery red. Apparently Dante was wrong, the first circle of hell is central Texas.
Seriously, these fires are absolutely terrifying. Wild fire is something that you just sort of get used to with the prolonged droughts we have but this is one of the worst seasons I can think of. And it's not looking like it's going to be getting better any time soon.