Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Alpine, Texas

When you come into Alpine on Highway 67/90, one of the first buildings of interest that you'll see is Penny's Diner.  Ann and Bob treated us to dinner there.  The chicken fried steaks cover half a dinner plate!  Yum!  Roy and I had to return another day for some more!  I see other good things on the menu to try.  Eating at Penny's Diner could get to be a yummy habit!
Further into Alpine is the campus of Sul Ross University.  It has a large campus with beautiful red brick buildings.  I checked out the curriculum and it is diverse. 
Welcome to Alpine!  This sign is located near the Sul Ross Campus.
This view of Alpine is taken from high up on the university campus.  This is looking west through town.  The mountain peaks on the left side of the picture are local landmarks called, Twin Peaks.
Going straight down this street will take you to the university.  The cross street is Highway 118.  Turn left on it and it goes to B.C. Ranch R.V. Park.  This corner has wonderful shopping.  There is an upscale Thriftway grocery store with a super selection.  The red sign to the left in the picture is the location of a large True Value Hardware.  It is unlike any hardware I've seen.  It carries gift items, small appliances, assorted craft items, sporting goods, and of course the standard hardware items.  There is a Radio Shack in the hardware and a garden center across the street.  This is where we do most of our shopping, although there are a comfortable number of other options.
This is the beautiful old courthouse near the downtown.  It makes me think a person could publish a book on historic courthouses.
This is the modern U.S. courthouse.  Isn't it an interesting design!
This is Holland Avenue, one of the downtown streets.  It runs east/west through town.  I love murals on walls of buildings.  They seem prevalent in Texas.
I always enjoy driving by this intriguing antique shop called, The Cheshire Cat.  Note the big black cat in the bird cage!  There is a large Family Dollar shown in the picture and across town is a nice Dollar Tree.
Amtrak runs through town and there is a station in Alpine.  Across the tracks are some interesting shops and an older community with several small stucco homes.  There's a large second hand shop called the Bargain Barn.  Roy and I like to go there occasionally to see what we can find.
This is Our Lady of Peace church.  There are several historic churches in the area.

Alpine is at an elevation of 4,514'.  Its 2012 population was 5,905.  It is the largest community within 75 miles.  Nearby community populations are 1,914 for Marfa, 1,201 for Fort Davis, and 430 for Marathon.  Leaving Alpine in any direction takes you into the Chihuahuan Desert.  I found myself saying to Roy recently that a person could live here 30 years and never leave town!  That's quite an admission of the community's completeness coming from me.  We were at McDonald's one day and overheard a man say that if there was a post office on the side of town where he lived he'd never have to go to the other side!  Wow!  Alpine can't be more than 3 miles across town in any direction!!!  Alpine is a serene community with an audible quietness.  Roy and I are always amazed at how few people we see, when driving around Alpine.  The people we've encountered are pleasant, but not talkative.  Alpine is a self contained magical place located in the middle of a desert.  There seems to be an endless variety of patterns and colors in the sunrises and sunsets over the mountains.  It will haunt our memories when we leave and call us back!