Alpine, Texas, where we will spend two nights, was long an encampment for Native Americans, a campsite for cattlemen, and then a tent city for railroad workers and their families which they named Murphyville. Five years later, when there were already a dozen houses, a livery stable, a butcher shop and a drugstore which housed the post office, townspeople changed the name to Alpine, probably because of its geographical location nestled between three mountain ranges.
Alpine grew slowly until Sul Ross Normal College (now Sul Ross State University) was opened in 1920. The opening of Big Bend National Park in the 1940s further spurred the growth of the town. Now it is also known for its thriving art scene.
The most exciting aspect of this town, for me, was its growing collection of colorful murals celebrating regional themes. One artist I met on my visit last fall, as he was painting colorful southwestern designs on a light post outside a residence off an alleyway in downtown, told me that during the pandemic, artists took to the streets painting amazing murals on every surface they could. It was their way to cope with the lockdown. Go to https://visitalpinetx.com/attractions/#alpine-murals to see pictures and details of the walking tour of the murals we’ll enjoy. Carolyn Saunders