Twin Sisters of Alpine

Under the Twin Sisters, 6,116 and 6,135 ft. above sea-level is their city at 4,500 ft. above sea-level.  Originally titled Osborne, then called Murphyville, it didn’t get right until this town’s name was identified by its mountains-Alpine.  More than something on the westward glance from town, the Twin Sisters have ruled its core by symbols and art.  Like the room of a loyal brother, everywhere in Alpine are images of its Twin Sisters.

33044268   1 Welcome to Alpine from the east on US Highway 67 and 90.

2IMG_0650 DSCN1445 Southern Pacific Rail Station 

IMG_2356Holland Hotel

DSCN6646Patch of slain Alpine police officer Jaime Primera Rodriguez.

ts3142012 brewster642012 (5)-082City seal and Chamber logo.

DSCN2367 IMG_5024E Avenue Civic Center and front page of Alpine weekly paper, the Avalanche.

kdf918-DSCN2704 IMG_0341 Sul Ross Avenue First Baptist Church

ts7 IMG_1534 Holland Avenue stores

DSCN1446 brewster8102012 (7)west Alpine

DSCN5840  DSCN5841  IMG_2824-501 Intersections of 5th Street and Holland

IMG_3542 IMG_3543 Alpine Christian School

brewster102012 (182)Jackass Park at the old Apache Trading Post.

brewster642012 (1)-081 IMG_3043-601Big Bend Art Gallery and Trans-Pecos Bank

ts7_3 Elm Grove Cemetery

The Twin Sisters are truly lovely-volcano goddesses, plumed out of the Paisano Caldera.  Their iconic gate and cool double cones are not lost on the conscience or imagination of Alpine.  Remade at least twenty-five different places (and counting) in the mountain and valley town the double peaks are a sacred part of the heart.  I hate to end the colorful post with a sad piece but it is part of a subject that I will often trail on about till more than I can make a solution.  A non-conversed irony toys and toils with the Twin Sisters and Texas.  Though they are a beloved view and cherished symbol for many in Alpine and Texas, the Twin Sisters are restricted.  Like all the other mountains there, the Twin Sisters can turn a romantic or family hike into jail time, fine, and a record for criminal trespassing.  Scores of illegal immigrants, hunters, and always hundreds of habitat destructive livestock have their way around the rock slopes and canyons across the Paisano, Sierra De Norte, Davis, and Glass Mountains.  Hikers, campers, folks that love the land of Texas, however, are not welcomed by the ranchers but treated as violators of precious private borders.  Organizations like the Davis Mountains Trans-Pecos Heritage Association “preserve the land through private ownership.”  This is an obvious impossible idea considering that ranchers and their employees could never effectively protect the many thousands of acres many of them have.  Without State and public help much of the land is rumbled by cattle and littered on by sneaky traffic.  I would never wish or want folks in West Texas to give up the rights of their land but I honestly believe that there could be some balance where trails could be allowed.  After all, the Hollywood Hills behind LA have trails, so do the Franklin Mountains behind El Paso, Pikes Peak by Colorado Springs, Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, and Sandia Peak with Albuquerque.  Must places like Alpine or Sierra Blanca (with nearby Sierra Blanca Peak) be so unfortunately different?  I bet there is a  naturally nice hike up the natural wonder, Twin Sisters, with an incredible view of Alpine and surrounding mountains from their summits.  I pray that someday Texans and Americans will be welcomed there by the land owners-that some balances should be found and formed with compassion to public appreciation, land conservancy, and private rights.

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