Rockroost Kachina Logo with photos of Arkansas Crystal on LED lighted base, Miniature Quartz Crystal Cluster, Slice of Amethyst Stalactite, Epidote Yellow Ribbon for the 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq. 
May they all come home safe and sound!
» Click here to sign up for our free newletter


  • About us
  • Home
  • Links

  • Mineral Collection:

  • Japan Law Twins
  • Olinghouse Gold

  • News:

  • Mine Tailings
  • News Nuggets
  • News from Iraq

  • Photo Gallery:

  • Arizona
  • New Mexico

  • Prospectors Corner:

  • Main Page
  • Kids Corner
  • Corner Store

  • Rockroost Shop

  • Arkansas Crystals
  • Geodes, Nodules
  • LED Light bases

  • More Shopping

  • Jewelry Cleaner
  • LED Novelties
  • Gem & Mineral Club show listings
    » Click here

    Check out Juliet's Beautiful Wearable Art
    » Here

    Passport America, Save 50% on Campsites

    Art Recipes Tips Travel
    Hello! Welcome to another page of my Corner.

    | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |

    Kids Corner:
    1 | 2

    Ron, your friendly Prospector

    "I don't know why I'm looking for rocks when I married a GEM""


    Check out our
    Rockhound Store

    Equipment, Supplies
    And Information for the
    Amateur, Novice and Expert.

    Virgin Valley, NV Opals

    It was mid June at 4am in the morning and we were on our way to meet another couple in Benson, AZ . From there we were heading to Virgin Valley, NV to look for Black and Fire Opal. We had been planning this trip together ever since we saw the show, "Best Places To Find Cash and Treasure", on the Travel Channel with host Becky Worley.

    The mines that we planned to visit were "The Royal Peacock" and "The Bonanza Opal Mine".They were about five miles from each other. The trip from our location in AZ was about 1100 miles one way. Our route would take us over Hoover Dam, through Las Vegas, up to Tonapah, NV and then straight North to Battle Mountain,NV. From there we would go West on I-80 to Winnemucca,NV and then North again to Denio Junction, NV and west about 40 miles on NV route 140 to the mine turn off. From that point it was all rough gravel road, basicaly like a washboard for about 9 miles.

    It was a Friday morning and the reason for leaving so early was that we wanted to get through Phoenix before rush hour traffic. We did manage to get through without too much traffic and were looking forward to stopping in Wickenburg for a late breakfast. We got to the local BK in Wickenburg in time to still get breakfast. Even the dog, our friends' Australian Sheepdog, better know as "Rusty the Rockhound", enjoyed breakfast.
    We did have a lot of miles to go but we all decided that we would focus on enjoying the trip rather than how many miles we went a day. It's a lot like life. It's not only about the destination but the journey you take to get there.
    Our first scheduled overnight stop, Wikieup,AZ, was not far ahead of us, about 75 more miles.

    We got there about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. We had made about a 350 mile trip that day, which was more than we would probably do any other day on this trip. We got all set up and settled in and went to check out the restaurant and gift shop. We bought some souveniers and headed back to our RV's. We spent several hours just relaxing and reflecting on the days events and what we expected to do the next day as far as distance. By 9pm we decided to turn in so we could get an early start. Did I mention even though it was 9pm, it was still 105 degrees out.

    Casino Parking Lot View of Lake Mead

    Hoover Dam
    New Bridge Constuction

    Our next day would take us through Kingman,AZ where we planned to gas up. From there it would be over Hoover Dam and into Las Vegas, NV. After crossing the dam, we stopped at a casino with a good view of Lake Mead. It was fun but time came to once again resume our trip. Shortly after leaving the casino, my A/C quit. It was a broken belt. Fortunately it didn't affect anything else as the A/C belt was seperate from everything else. Since we were close to Las Vegas I starting calling to find a place to get it fixed. Remember this is now Saturday and not many places would be open that can get a motor home in to work on. I finally got in touch with Travel Centers of America, a truck stop, better know to most as the T/A. Yes they could fix it but couldn't get to it till late that night. In the meantime they had called the local parts store and found out there was a belt available. I decided to go and pick up the belt and we would continue on our way. It was about mid-day and 109 degrees in Las Vegas. Later that day we made it to our next scheduled stop, which was Beatty,NV. By this time we were well done from cooking in the heat. Again we got our RV's set up for the night and the plan was to try and put the belt on in the morning before it got too hot.

    Hope This Works
    Belt Repair Time
    BoB and Barbara's Rig
    I got up at 5am that morning and started to loosen what was needed to get the new belt on. Around 6am, Bob came up and between us we got the new belt on and were ready for the next leg of our journey. It was great to once again have the comfort of air conditioning. It had been triple digit temps since we left and the forecast said more of the same was ahead of us for many days to come.

    Julie, Bob, Rusty, and Barbara
    HI Travelers, "Got Rocks".

    I Just Might Buy Something
    How They Handle Claim Jumpers!!

    Our next scheduled stop for the day was to be Battle Mountain, NV. This would put us about 3 hours or so from our final destination. In the meantime, we stopped in a few places along the way. One of them was historic Goldfield, NV. We did some buying at the local rock shop. Of course we didn't make it to Battle MT without further problems. At one of our rest stops Bob noticed he had a flat on the trailer he was towing, loaded with his jeep. We both towed jeeps on this trip. It was just a minor interruption and Bob had it replaced in a short time.

    We finally pulled into Battle MT and after a night of a little casino fun and a good meal we were ready for our arrival at the Royal Peacock Mine the next day. We got there about 6pm on Sunday night. They have their own RV park and we were assured after calling them on the phone that there would be spaces for us to set up. Not exactly so. They only had one spot left with hookups. Fortunately it was wide enough for Bob to park next to us and tap into our electric for the night.
    Sharing A Space
    Getting Aquainted.

    That evening we met several people who had been to the mine and paid the fee to dig. Let me add that's it's not cheap. $145 per person to dig in virgin bank material and $45 a person to sift through the tailings, which basicaly had been high graded(most good material taken out).
    Getting Pointers
    Is That The Funky Chicken ?

    Nice Piece of Black Opal
    Sunstone from Oregon

    The next morning Bob and Barbara were able to get their own space with hook ups. Now it was time to sign up, pay our fee, and head up to the mine to try our luck at finding beautiful Black Fire Opal.

    We didn't find much. I dug in the bank and so did my friend Bob. From what I remember he didn't find anything and all I found was bits and pieces and I mean bits, smaller than a couple mm wide. My wife Julie didn't have any luck whatsoever in the tailings. There were many things about this mine that tells us we won't do it again. I may be a little harsh in my judgement as I know there has to be luck involved also. I just feel the mine manager could have done more to promote the success of the paying customers.

    Let's Dig
    Mine Over view.

    We did have more luck at the Bonanza Mine which we went to the next day. Even the people there were more than anxious for you the customer to have good fortune. The fee there was $45 to dig in the tailings which were dug out off the banks years ago and the opal in them was naturally dried over a long period of time which now makes them stable enough to cut and polish.

    Peacock to the left Bonanza to the right
    Head for the top of the tent

    Time to sign in
    Rusty, Watch the Jeeps, OK?
    I think I got one.
    OK, My Turn!!
    Bonanza Opal from Tailings

    The picture above is a piece that I found at the Bonanza Mine. It's about 1 and a half inches long and 3/8 of an inch in diameter. It's a nice blue/green with fire through out. The fire does not show in the picture. We found other small pieces and were very satisfied with our day. We do plan to go back soon. All the people who care for the mine and greet and help the public are Shareholders. The work and time they put in is all voluntary. Thanks to all at the Bonanza. We recommend this mine to all who would like a less expensive and rewarding day of digging.

    My next page will be up soon. We are off to Plush Oregon to look for Sunstones at the Spectrum Mine.

    I update frequently with new articles. Information contained in these is from reliable sources and personal experiences with a little humor thrown into the mix from time to time. So come back and visit often!

    NEW Rockhounds Store
    Equipment, Supplies And Information for the Amateur, Novice and Expert.

    RockRoost Rockhounding Trips:
    Agate 2006
    Baker Lode Mine, New Mexico
    Deming, New Mexico
    Oregon Sunstones
    The Big Luna
    Total Wreck Mine
    Virgin Valley, NV Opals

    Washington Camp

    Kids Corner:
    Kids Day at Rockroost Page 1
    Kids Day at Rockroost Page 2

    Prospector Ron's Articles:
    What Breed of Dog is a Rockhound

    Comments? Questions? Suggestions?
    CONTACT US »Click Here

    Copyright © 2003 - 2013 - All rights reserved - Copying is not allowed.
    (A Division of Sierra Creations - P. O. Box 914, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636)
    RockRoost website creators: Juliet Dobosz and the late Ron Burgess

    eXTReMe Tracker