I. January 1, 2015. Balmorhea, Texas.
The first night is cold. We wake, bodies stiff and kinked like discarded dolls. The windows of the car reveal nothing but ice, and when we finally crack open the doors to let some air in, the outside world is much the same. Terrible and beautiful, this is the kind of ice that shuts down highways, transforms roadsides to tractor trailer junkyards, turns West Texas prairies into gleaming mirrors of the sky, silences the surrounding world.
The people of Balmorhea, Texas – this four-block town of 491 people rising unexpectedly from the desolate West Texas flatlands – haven’t seen this kind of ice in a generation. A frozen tumbleweed staggers across the road like an early morning drunk. Continue reading