On my way to Balmorhea on a recent girls trip, we stopped for lunch in small town, Texas. After discarding my mayo-soaked Subway sammy, I wandered across the street for a cola from the machine in front of the H.E.B.
As you do in small towns, I got to talking with an elderly woman peddling store-bought cupcakes that she was trying to pass off as homemade. She was old, and it was hot, so I bought one anyway, took a bite, and wrapped it up for the next time I saw a trashcan.
Visiting West Texas two weeks ago, it was impossible to ignore the devastation being caused by the massive fires in the area. As we camped in Balmorhea State Park, a never-ending cloud of smoke drifted over the mountains from a fire temporarily contained in a valley beyond.
The fires, which have been burning since April 9, are currently only 66 percent contained and have consumed over 275,000 acres, destroyed dozens of homes, killed livestock and wildlife, and jeopardized the livelihoods of countless ranchers and residents. Extremely dry conditions coupled with high winds continue to fuel the fires.