Welcome to Battle Mountain, Nevada

After returning to the US in January 2006, I spent time in Ann Arbor, Parma, and Lawrenceburg while deciding the next move...which turned out to be with Fluor, working on a 220 megawatt coal fired power plant in Dunphy, Nevada. The client is Newmont Gold...which is expanding their mining operations (no wonder why?) and needs more power. A couple weeks after I arrived I got to go on a tour of some of their nearby mining operations (no free samples). Dunphy is one of those "no services" exits off of I-80, 50 miles west of Elko. I drove here from Indiana, arriving the second weekend in March. Rather than live in the big city and face the long commute, I found an apartment in Battle Mountain, 23 miles the other direction:

tanking up

This is the view, looking northeast, of my part of town, from I-80...actually
my apartment is just to the right of the water tank and pumphouse.

sign of the times
Although the current slogan for the town is "gateway to the outback" as noted on the water tank as well as various signs around town, it seems that several years ago the Washington Post had a promotion looking for the "Armpit of America." It seems that Battle Mountain won out with the help of a local newspaper editor (who was promptly fired). The deodorant companies helped sponsor an "armpit festival" for a couple of years, now despite efforts to make the moniker disappear, there are still some billboards around on I-80. This one is a few miles east of Elko.

The front of my apartment, I'm on the second floor on the right side. It has two bedrooms and is larger than the last few I've lived in.
back view
Here is another view of the backside from the highway...there are 3 buildings with 4 units each, I'm at the far left, upstairs.
mountain view
The view from my balcony...just outside of my bedroom.
main street USA
A bit further right, there is that water tank.
from above
Had enough? Okay, here is the Google Earth closeup view. I'm quite impressed by this software (although it doesn't handle Antarctica very well).
a plan...
And a look at the BLM map. My place is just across the highway from the end of "Mountain." The pink/dotted line is the California Trail, one of the historic wagon train routes.
trailer park troubadours?
A couple blocks away is this complex of new mobile homes which were put in by the project; I might have ended up in one of them, but one of the apartments came vacant just when I arrived in Elko.
Downtown main street...this was old US 40 before the interstate was built. Several casinos, restaurants, gas stations, motels... Battle Mountain is the county seat of Lander County; the population is about 2500 (Elko, at 17,000, is the third largest city in Nevada).
sign of the times

The town was NOT named for a mountain...the Nevada DOT has this marker downtown which describes the origins of the place.
just passing through
A closeup of the sign. Lots of folks made history by passing through on the way to someplace else.
Battle Mountain has a couple of small supermarkets, a fairly large drug store (all non-chain) as well as a few gas stations, motels, and a McDonald's. There are some repair shops and other facilities that support the mining and ranching operations in the area, and of course there is a railroad that runs through the middle of town, the Union Pacific westbound track. This was originally the Southern Pacific...north of town a few miles is the eastbound track that used to be the Western Pacific.

Everyone has had flyers stuck on their vehicle windshields while they were parked somewhere, advertising local businesses or events. This town is no exception...here is a flyer from a local business that I found on my windshield recently.

fire on the mountain
Update...here is a nearby brush fire that showed up
on 22 August 2006 when I got home from work. By nightfall
most of the smoke was gone. In 2007 the fires have been
more serious, closing the Interstate between here and Elko
a number of times.

Next...the August trip to New England!

Back to index