Overall, Graham seemed to be doing quite well, with lots of activity in the shopping area around the giant town square and at several shopping malls nearer the edge of town. Still, there were empty commercial buildings and closed storefronts within a block or so of that central square. Signs of economic trouble showed up everywhere I traveled on the Giant DI Road Trip.
The look of the land in north central Texas was certainly different from back home and from farther north on the Great Plains, but I noticed that the color of the light and sky suddenly seemed to have gone back to normal. The crazy Kansas winds steadily went away as I moved south, so I'm still leaning toward wind-blown fine dust in the atmosphere as the most likely cause of the strange warm color of sky/cloud/light I'd noticed.