Tucson Gem Show, Tucson, AZ
I undertake this annual pilgrimage with an almost religious fervor. From the day I send my deposit in, to the day I leave, not a minute goes by that I am not planning or packing or doing something that pertains to Tucson.
I like to plan this trip out before I go because there is just so much to do there that I can get side tracked pretty easily. With over 40 individual shows throughout the city of Tucson you are sure to find something to please everyone in your party.
This trip isn't as expensive as some might think...and you have to balance the costs with the education and experience you gain with each trip.
More info: http://tucsongemshow.blogspot.com/
Destination #2: Oregon Sunstone
This is a great driving trip and, when you work in front of a computer like I do, it is so much fun to just get outside and dig in the dirt for a week or so. The Sunstone Fee Digs are all in basically the same area of Plush, Oregon so you can check out John's Double Eagle Mine, Don's Dust Devil Mine, and Chris' Spectrum Sunstone Mine, all within about 5 minutes of each other. Last year a new mine opened for Fee Digs...the Sunstone Butte Mine, it is about 15-20 minutes away, but well worth the effort.
You can camp at most of the mine sites, there is a BLM area for free camping and Lakeview is under an hour away if you prefer a hotel/motel. Our favorite is the Tipi at the Spectrum - the Tipi is awesome, but we just enjoy hanging out with Chris or Jessica when they are in town.
If you have the time and can make this a 2 week trip - there is Juniper Ridge Opal near the Sunstone and Virgin Valley is about an hour away and over the Nevada border. There are three Virgin Valley Opal mines that operate a Fee Dig - The Royal Peacock (they have a camp grounds that can accommodate a tent or an RV) - Bonanza Opal Mine - Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine
Please click through the links below for the blogs of my fellow Blog-o-sphere Think Tank members to see which destination they chose as their favorite...