I drove through Bastrop this morning. I didn’t want to cause any extra trouble for all the first responders that have been working so tirelessly through all of this, but since Hwy 71 was open, I thought I’d see for myself what it looked like. It was depressing, but not as much as I thought it would be. This is probably because the burned trees and ashes just look like they are covered with a dark snow.
All of the entrances to every subdivision or private road were guarded by a police officer or state trooper requiring ID to enter, which is how it should be. As much as I want to see what everything looks like, I think these families should be allowed to deal with their losses and grief in private, without gawkers.
In the meantime, I snapped these pictures. To do so, I set my shutter speed on 400 ISO, rolled down the window and snapped while I drove, not looking into the camera at all. Of all the pictures I took, these are the ones good enough to make the cut.
And just for scale, here is a photo from the Austin American Statesman showing Lake Bastrop and highway 21. It does not show the damage on or south of 71.