Ice Fog

I have a pretty spectacular view on my daily commute.    I drive down from about 6,500 feet near Virginia City, Nevada, into the valley where Reno hugs the Sierra mountains.    Today was one of those days where a weather inversion is holding the clouds down and providing an interesting photo opp.   Enjoy.

FYI:  All photos were taken with my phone, a Samsung Galaxy IIIS.   And, yes, I pulled over to take the pictures.   Safety first.



This is what it looks like when you are in the valley.   The blanket of fog was pretty thick and makes a “pogonip” of ice crystals all over everything.   It’s one of my favorite things about winter because it doesn’t happen very often and, thankfully, never lasts very long.





American Flat, Nevada

American Flat is an old cyanide mill just outside of Virginia City, Nevada.    Technically, is it between Gold Hill and Silver City but both of those places are near ghost towns now, too.    According to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), “The United Comstock Merger Mill site is located on public lands at American Flat, Storey County, Nevada. The mill was built in 1922 to process local gold and silver ore utilizing cyanide vat leaching in what was then described as the largest concrete mill in the United States, which makes it historically significant. Since abandonment in 1924, this seven acre mill site has traditionally been used by high school students and other locals as a meeting place to hold parties, post graffiti, conduct paintball wars, etc., despite physical safety hazards from falling concrete, underground mill sumps filled with water, and holes in the concrete flooring.  The BLM issued a Federal Register Notice and closed the historic mill buildings to public entry in 1997 in response to a fatality at the site. Regardless of the closure and repeated efforts by the BLM to fence, gate and post the site with warning signs, the property still receives visitors in trespass. According to the Storey County Sheriff’s Department, emergency vehicles respond to at least six serious injuries on the property every year, mostly from visitors climbing on and falling from the mill buildings which are as much as eighty feet in height.

Needless to say, this is a creepy, old place yet worthy of the time photographing it.   There are warning signs everywhere to be careful.

This huge mill was built in 1922. Imagine how big of an undertaking that was in those days.   It was only used for TWO years.
All of the buildings are covered in graffiti, inside and out.
If these walls could talk … oh, the stories they would tell.
The Bar … enter if you dare …
A closer look at the largest building.
A look inside the largest building, there are holes in the floor and chunks of cement dangling from the ceilings.
Anyone can tell which areas are marked as “closed” but you can see that no one heeds the warnings.
Clearly, the EPA didn’t exist in the days of this mill. The cyanide barrels lay in waste all over the area.
The ghosts of the Comstock are alive and well here at American Flat.

Vote Early, Vote Often

I voted early this year.    No real reason.   I had the day off and figured it was a good use of my time.   While I was there, I realized how lucky I am that this is my polling station.   And, that I can vote.


I live outside of Virginia City, Nevada.   This is the county courthouse.   It was rebuilt in 1876 after a fire.   Once upon a time (in the early 1800s) this was the richest place on EARTH.   I think it still has plenty to offer.   If you would like to know more about Virginia City and this spectacular court house, click HERE.

Are you voting this year?   Did you vote early like me?