Not meaning to hijack this "Eastern Oregon" thread...
Virgin valley is a very unique place, even for northern Nevada. To me, it's always fun to explore the area around the mining district as well as dig for opals. When we stay in Virgin Valley, it is at Harry & Joy Wilson's place called the Royal Peacock Opal Mine. Harry, now in his upper 80's, has lived there his whole life, and his family homesteaded the area around the turn of the century over a hundred years ago. Its located down the VV road a bit over ten miles, and is the last "open-to-the-public" mine on the road.
You will pass a free first come-first served campground as you enter the valley, but it is dry camping
only. I believe that they have a few water faucets and outhouses, but no other facilities. There are also other public dig-for-a-fee mines enroute to Harry's place, but he has full hook-ups available for RV's and trailers. Water, sewer, and power (20/30/50amp). There are also a couple of freezers in front of the opal mine office building where you can buy bagged ice and ice cream. There is also a "one holer" flush toilet bathroom with a shower, (only one, but it seems to work fairly well if the place isn't too busy, but if it is, then you may be waiting a while for that shower after digging all day.) There is also a washing machine and dryer (bring your own soap) for laundry too.
There is also no cell phone coverage in the area, but there is a land line phone at the mine office. If necessary, just call someone collect and give them the mine's phone number, then have them call you back...it's much cheaper. Funny, I couldn't make a cell phone call, but my Satellite TV and view cube worked great. At night you will be stunned by the number of stars that you can see. I didn't know there were so many...you can even see the band of the Milky Way.
The road, although not paved, is usually in pretty fair condition. Normally, we go down in June when Brenda gets time off from her job with school dist. The weather is usually dry and daytime temps are not as rediculously hot as they are in late July/August, although last years weather pattern, (thanks to el Nino,) really screwed up the weather. It rained for 10 of the 14 days we spent there. Even Harry said he never in his life seen the weather that bad as it was last summer. It's definitely not the place to be when it is wet, and the ash (the area was once part of a great inland sea prehistorically, but it also has a volcanic past as well...this is why opals are found here,) turns into a weird concoction that is both slippery as ice, and tenaciously sticks to everything like glue. When it is dry it is great, but can be a bit dusty on the road.
The nearest gas/diesel station is at Denio Junction, about 25 miles east of the mine. Their fuel prices are a bit high, but it's the only one for over a hundred miles in any direction and it has to be delivered. It all costs. They also have a small restaurant, a small covenience store, and a full service bar at the Junction as well. The nearest "real" town is Winnemucca, and thats about two and a half hours drive from the mine.
If you are into wildlife, the area abuts the Sheldon Wildlife Reserve. There are lots of wild horses, donkeys, and bighorn sheep and antelopes too. Some of the biggest rabbits (hares?) I've ever seen were down there too. If you have a dirt bike (power or pedal) you can explore the area's dirt roads and see some of the old native american cave dwellings, (inhabited about 11,000 years ago,) some old homestead farm/ranch ruins, and fascinating geologic formations all around. Outside the mining district,the BLM manages most of the area and discourages any "souvenier" and artifact hunting, but you can surface collect up to 7 pounds of rocks a day (oh yeah, we're rockhounds too!) I'm sure that if I stumbled upon an old stone arrowhead it would probably find its way into my pocket too, but you didn't hear that from me. lol
Here's a few area links...
Welcome to the Royal Peacock Opal Mines
The owners are some of the nicest folks you will ever meet. If you do visit, I'm sure you will have a wonderful experience.