When we headed out from Austin to West Texas the Thursday before the summer solstice, the Saharan dust cloud was still lingering over the landscape. The heat was grim enough, loading up the car on another record-breaking triple-digit June day that felt even hotter than the thermostat would have you believe—August temps burning up May humidity. The weird haze explained by the meteorologists, without evident alarm, as a gigantic cloud of sand from the North African desert that had been blown across the Atlantic, only added to the intuitive sense that we were preparing for a family vacation during the slow-motion end of the world. We did not share any of these sentiments with our adorably excited three-year-old daughter. In part because we thought, by heading to our own high desert for the long weekend, we would be escaping the dystopian ozone of the late Promethean city.