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 was Newmont Gold...which was expanding their mining operations (no wonder why?) and needed more reliable and cheaper 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:

water tank next to my apartment

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

Armpit of America billboard
Although the slogan for the town when I was living there was "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." And 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 visible from I-80 a few miles east of Elko.

my apartment in Battle Mountain
The front of my apartment, and my van. I was on the second floor on the right side. It had two bedrooms and was larger than the last few I'd lived in.
the apartment complex seen from the highway
Here is another view of the backside from the highway...there are 3 buildings with 4 units each, I was at the far left, upstairs.
a view from my balcony
The view from my balcony...just outside of my bedroom.
another view from my balcony
A bit further right, there is that water tank.
Google Earth view of Battle Mountain
Had enough? Okay, here is the Google Earth closeup view. I'm quite impressed by this software (although it doesn't always handle Antarctica very well).
The BLM map
And a look at the BLM map. My place was 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).
Battle Mountain historical marker

The town was NOT named for a mountain...the Nevada DOT has this marker downtown which describes the origins of the place.
historical marker detail
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 one day.

wildfire near Dunphy
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 were more
serious, closing the Interstate between here and Elko
a number of times.

Next...the August trip to New England!

The power plant project was basically completed by January 2008, and I moved out and moved on to my third winter at Pole.

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