Welcome to Shrine Mont!!
Shrine Mont is a place where people are more important than things, where prayer and reflection, rest and recreation are more important than appointments and tasks. It’s a place where people give thanks to God for his creation—from the beauty of the streams, flowers and wildlife which are at home here, to the people who come to this place to celebrate being part of the family of God.
Central to life at Shrine Mont, is The Cathedral Shrine of the Transfiguration. The open-air Cathedral of the Diocese of Virginia was consecrated in 1925 and every stone, pulled by horse or rolled by local people from the mountain, was a offering of love and labor to the Lord. The baptismal font, a dugout stone used by Indians to grind corn, connects us to the human roots of our country and is no less the reminder of God’s provision and providence.
The Virginia House (formerly known as the Orkney Springs Hotel) was purchased by Shrine Mont in 1979. Since then it has served as the headquarters of the Retreat center and reminds us of God’s gifts of craftsmanship and human potential in the service of our Creator.
Nestled among the trees at the foot of Great North Mountain in the Shenandoah Valley is the beautiful, serene community of Orkney Springs. From the days when the elegant and historic Orkney Springs Hotel (currently the Shrine Mont Conference Center) was host to hundreds of guests from throughout the country coming to take advantage of the healthful “cold water springs,” this little town has been a place to get away. Since the 1920’s Orkney Springs has guarded the entrance to Shrine Mont with love and devotion and the people of this companion community have ever been fellow servants striving for the glory of God.
There is a rich tradition of parishes within the Diocese of Virginia, retiring to Shrine Mont for a weekend of rest and relaxation. These parish retreats afford us all the opportunity to spend time together in an environment that may open new relationships and offer the opportunity to deepen existing friendships.
This packet is designed to help you transition easily into the weekend, It is offered as a tool to ease tensions and provide opportunity. In this packet you will find:
What to bring pg.2
Commentary Directions pgs. 2-3
Activities at Shrine Mont pg. 3
Agenda pg. 4-5
Shrine Mont Policies and Guidelines pg. 5-6
A color site plan of Shrine Mont pg. 7
Geochaching pg. 8
A list of nearby towns pg. 9
Activities close to Shrine Mont (Places to visit—things to see) pg10-12
Hiking, climbing, running, and walking routes at Shrine Mont (handout at Shrine Mont)
The history of Shrine Mont (handout at Shrine Mont)
Sights of interest at Shrine Mont (handout at Shrine Mont)
Please review the Shrine Mont Policies and Guidelines as well as the accompanying “helpful information.” When you arrive to check in you will be given your cabin and your room assignment as well as a new Agenda and map.
The following directions are intended to aid you on your journey; be warned that “Map Quest” and similar map programs have located Shrine Mont incorrectly.
Please drive safely and do not speed on Rt. #263--they are watching!
Shrine Mont is located 1 hour North of Harrisonburg, and approximately 3 hours from the Richmond metro area.
Take I-64 towards Charlottesville (approximately 70 miles).
Continue past Charlottesville to I-81 north (approximately 35 miles).
The total distance from Richmond to I-81 north is approximately 100 miles
Take I-81 north 47 miles to exit 269, Caverns Road (VA-RT 730) towards Mt. Jackson/US-11 Shenandoah Caverns.
Turn right at the top of the off ramp and continue 0.4 miles to stop sign.
Turn left on US 11, Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy, and drive exactly 2.5 miles.
Turn left on Rt- 263, Orkney Grade and continue approximately 15 miles to Orkney Springs VA.
Once you arrive at Shrine Mont, drive past the large Hotel on your left and up the hill to cabin at “12 o’clock” (#15 on you map, “Stribling”) to receive your cabin/room assignments.
WHAT TO BRING
Extra pillows if desired, pool towels, toiletries, rain gear, flashlight, bug spray, casual attire and a fan (optional).
Below you will find directions to Shrine Mont in an expanded “commentary” style. This commentary is offered in the hopes that some of the information may be helpful as you plan/execute your trip. Please feel free to add to or correct the information for next year and have fun. God’s peace and protection be upon you.
Taking 64 west from 295 there are a few food opportunities along the route. If you can make it to Charlottesville, exit 120 5th Street (approx. 54 miles from 295) has good choice of relatively clean fast food stops, including McDonalds and Wendy’s. There are also gas stations on this exit.
Continuing on from Charlottesville you will begin the uphill climb to Skyline Drive, there aren’t many places to stop along this leg of the drive so take note of the Rest Stop at mile marker 113, 10 miles from Charlottesville.
Continuing up the grade, by the time you pass exit 107, Rockfish Gap Turn Pike, you will know for sure that you are on your way to something spectacular. The mountain views begin to take shape and, with just 5 miles to Skyline Drive, the mountain air (even if it’s hot) is refreshing.
Passing Skyline Drive there is a 4 mile descent with breathtaking vistas on your right and an expanse of wild forest and sky.
Exit 94, Rt. 340 affords the opportunity to “gas and food up” at all the usual plus Shoney’s and Cracker Barrel. A little further up 64, exit 91 boasts Subway, McDonalds, Shell, Sheetz and a local hospital.
Just 6 miles further on, passed beautiful open farm land you will take exit 87, I 81 north to Staunton/Winchester.
--note: it is a good idea to tank up along this next stretch, after exit 227 and the rest stop, there will be no services for 13 miles.
Traveling up I 81 there are several opportunities to stop in on historic sites. Immediately after merging on I 81 exit 222, Rt. 250 boasts the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and the Frontier Culture Museum (contact information for these can be found on page 16).
13 miles further up I 81, exit 227, Rt. 612, Laurel Hill Road, will lead you to the Augusta Military Academy Museum.
5 miles further up the interstate there is a Rest Stop and there are no more services for 13 miles!
Exit 235, Rt. 256, Weyers Cave Road is the exit to take to get to The Grand Cavern.
Exit 245, Rt. 331, Port Republic Road, Harrisonburg, (the home of James Madison Univ.) is the location of the Virginia Tourist Information Center and is a great stop to stock up on local attraction information and directions. This exit also leads to fuel/food and medical services.
Continuing up scenic I 81, you will pass exits for Skyline Drive (exit 33), Shenandoah Caverns (exit 257), Endless Cavern (exit 257), and Lurray Caverns (exit 264).
--note: the following exit is alternate to the short directions on page 2. As an alternative to exit 269, Caverns Road (the exit in the “short directions” to Mount Jackson), you can exit early on exit 264, Rt. 211, W. Old Cross Road, New Market. New Market is a delightful little town of services and shops that can provide pleasurable distractions to the long drive. Go to Rt. 11 and make a right, driving south through town, and take in the local color. Make a u-turn when the town thins out and drive passed Rt. 211 (where you came from) north. You are now on your way (by the back road) to Mount Jackson.
Continue up Rt. 11, Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy, 7 miles to Mount Jackson.
Turn left on Rt. 263, Orkney Grade Road and enjoy the next 15 miles of absolutely beautiful countryside until you reach Shrine Mont.
Activities at Shrine Mont Lawn Games:
Horseshoes (behind Warner, #31 on map)
Croquet (played in upper field or next to lake)
Volleyball (played by the lower Outdoor Pavilion, #47)
Ballgames (upper fields)
Basketball (upperPavilion, #47)
Tennis (below the lake, #8)
Hiking Trails and Labyrinthmaps available at Shrine Mont Book Store/Gift Shop Located in Virginia House on the first floor mezzanine
Agenda First things first:
Coffee: Coffee is always available in the lobby of Brown Hall (#27)
Bell: The call to “sup together” is signaled by the ringing of a bell
Pool: The pool is open from 10:00 –12:30 and 1:00 –5:00. Evening hours TBA
Friday (Early check-in, look for the Lafoon’s after 3:00 p.m. at Stribling Hall)
4:00-5:30 Check in at Stribling Hall (#15 on your Shrine Mont map.)
5:30-7:00 Dinner is served at Virginia House (#45 on your Shrine Mont map).
Pork BBQ, baked beans, coleslaw, chips and wheat/white rolls, pasta salad.
Apple Crunch for dessert. 7:00-lights-out Time to unpack and relax. Meet other Creator folk on front porches and in various living rooms to play games, sing, and generally enjoy each other’s company. Please remember that after 10:00 p.m., outdoor activity needs to quiet down as a courtesy to other guests on property.
Tucker Dining Room (#26 on your Shrine Mont map)
Scrambled eggs and bacon, toast, cereal, yogurt, and fresh fruit. 9:15-11:00 Stations of the Cross.
Hiking the Stations of the Cross at Shrine Mont is a unique experience. The hike takes about 2 hours(total) and ends at the foot of the “mountain Cross” looking out over miles of beautiful Virginia and West Virginia mountains. It is a meaningful opportunity to combine an appreciation of God’s bounty with devotion for God’s sacrifice. We will gather at the Shrine of the Transfiguration, wear comfortable hiking shoes; it’s all up hill. 12:30-1:30 Lunch:
Tucker Dining Room (#26 on your Shrine Mont map)
Meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, tomatoes with zucchini and salad.
Pecan pie for dessert. 1:30-5:30 Free time:
There are many attractions around Shrine Mont (please see page 8-10) as well as activities in the surrounding areas (page 13-16)
Cookies and fruit for dessert 6:30-lights-out Free time:
There are gatherings on some of the cabin porches for singing with the choir, talking over old times or dreaming of the future, or just spending time together. There is “game gathering” in the Stribling (#15) living room and beautiful scenery for evening walks. Please remember that after 10:00 p.m., outdoor activity needs to quiet down as a courtesy to other guests on property.
*time may change Sunday
8:00-9:00 Breakfast at Tucker Dining Room (#26 on your Shrine Mont map)
Pancakes, sausage, fried apples, toast, cereal, yogurt, and fresh fruit. 9:15-9:30 Pack up personal belongings.
Housekeeping will be entering the rooms at 10:00, prior to their arrival please:
Place on the floor inside the room:
Towels and bath mats
Leave on the beds:
You may leave your baggage in the rooms, but please clear the area for housekeeping to work. There will be time after services or lunch to pack your car. 9:30-11:00 Holy Eucharist in the Shrine of the Transfiguration (#18 on your map)
10:30-12:30 Pack up and rest.
12:30-1:30 Lunch at Tucker Dining Room (#26 on your Shrine Mont map)
All group participants must register with the person in charge of their group.
Checkout is at 10 a.m., unless another time is arranged with the Shrine Mont Director.
NO SMOKING in any Shrine Mont Building or on porches! Groups are encouraged to schedule breaks outside and away from buildings.
NO PETS are allowed at Shrine Mont (except for seeing eye and hearing dogs). A $100.00 daily fee will be assessed from anyone not in compliance with this policy.
The use of drugs is strictly prohibited.
NO ROLLER BLADES OR SKATEBOARDS are allowed on Shrine Mont property.
There is a "Tip Box" in each dining facility. Tips are equally distributed to kitchen staff and housekeeping staff. Tipping is at the discretion of the group or individual.
All phone messages come directly to the office. Shrine Mont staff will do their best to deliver your messages to you, but the group leader or individual guests should check the office or message board occasionally.
There are no phones in any of the rooms or cottages. Guests may use the phone located in the Hotel lobby or Tucker Hall. Some cell phones may get reception up at Pavilion and adjacent field.
Wi-fi is available inside Tucker Hall and in the Bird Cage outside of Tucker Hall.
Quiet Hour is 10:00 p.m.
The Following Information and Policies were provided by Shrine Mont Staff
Parking for the area around the Tucker Dining Room and for the “up hill cabins” should be sufficient for those staying in this area. There are additional parking areas below at the Hotel and above near the playing fields.
MESSAGES / TELEPHONES / INTERNET
Messages will be posted on the message board by the Virginia House front desk. If the message is urgent, we will deliver it to the coordinator for your group. The Virginia House desk hours are 9 am - 5 am. Office staff hours are 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. There are phones available in the hotel lobby area. A prepaid calling card or your long-distance carrier pin # is needed for dialing long distance. The Virginia House and Art Hall now offer complimentary wireless Internet access. Call for more information.
Your bedrooms are designed to be restful and relaxing. There are no telephones or televisions in the rooms. No air conditioning. Thermostats may be located in the individual rooms or in a central room such as the gathering room. We have very few security concerns and a full time night security. Room keys are available if requested.
Shenandoah Memorial Hospital is located 30 minutes from Orkney Springs.
Mt. Jackson Medical Center is located 15 minutes from Orkney Springs.
Local Fire, Police and Rescue Squad available.
Pharmacy located in Mt. Jackson.
The policy concerning the use of alcoholic beverages at Church functions, or on the property of Shrine Mont by any guests will be as follows:
Alcohol is not to be served to minors according to state laws.
When alcoholic beverages are to be served, nonalcoholic beverages must also be provided in an equally attractive manner so that those who choose not to drink are not inconvenienced or given any reason to feel embarrassment.
A responsible adult must be in charge of the distribution and storage of alcoholic beverages to insure that it is consumed in an appropriate manner and is not being offered to any minors present. Alcoholic beverages may not be left in meeting areas unattended or overnight.
The group leader prior to the serving of any food or beverage, which contains alcohol, must consult the Director.
Shrine Mont will not sell any such alcoholic beverages.
Groups must respect the needs, wishes, and desires of other guests at Shrine Mont while using or not using alcoholic beverages, except when they are used for religious purposes.
Individual guests may have drinks in their own room or cottage, but no alcoholic beverages are allowed in the public areas such as dining rooms or lobbies (unless as part of a group reception as authorized by the Director).
Virginia House (Ballroom & Dining Room, Bookstore)
Bird Cage / Gazebo
What is Geocacheing? Geocacheing is an entertaining adventure game for GPS users.
Have you heard of “Letterboxing”? Geocacheing is the 21st century GPS equivalent.
Letterboxing is an intriguing “treasure hunt” style outdoor activity. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly-accessible places (like parks) and post clues to finding the box online on one of several Web sites. However, clues to finding some of the most highly-sought boxes are passed around by word of mouth. There are about 20,000 letterboxes hidden in North America alone. Individual letterboxes usually contain a log book, an often hand-carved rubber stamp and may contain an ink pad. Finders make an imprint of the letterbox's stamp on their personal log book, and leave an imprint of their personal stamp on the letterbox's logbook.
Based on the same principles of Letterboxing, Geocacheing uses a GPS device (instead of clues) to locate caches (instead of a box). Once located, a simple cache may contain just a logbook. The logbook contains information from the founder of the cache and notes from the cache's visitors. The logbook can contain much valuable, rewarding, and entertaining information. A logbook might contain information about nearby attractions, coordinates to other unpublished caches, and even jokes written by visitors. If you get some information from a logbook you should give some back. At the very least you can leave the date and time you visited the cache.
Larger caches may consist of a waterproof plastic bucket placed tastefully within the local terrain. The bucket will contain the logbook and any number of more or less valuable items. These items turn the cache into a true treasure hunt. You never know what the founder or other visitors of the cache may have left there for you to enjoy. Remember, if you take something, it’s only fair for you to leave something in return. Items in a bucket cache could be maps, books, software, hardware, CD's, videos, pictures, money, jewelry, tickets, antiques, tools, games, etc.
Shrine Mont has 4 hikes set aside as geocacheing hikes and access to others off-site. Come then! Bring a friend and CACHE the day away!
GPS devices and instructions are available at the Front Desk in the Virginia House.
What does it Cost?$15 for 4 hours.
$25 for full day
Located 14 miles east of Shrine Mont, Mount Jackson is located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and is rich in history and culture. The town of Mt. Jackson was originally named Mt. Pleasant and was changed to honor Andrew Jackson who was a frequent visitor in his travels from Washington D.C. to his home in Tennessee. There are many historic buildings in town featuring a wide variety of architecture, several of which served as Confederate and Union Army field hospitals during the Civil War. For more information, visit http://www.mountjacksonva.org/ or call 540-477-3275.
Approximately 24 miles north of Mount Jackson, Strasburg is known as the Antique Capital of Virginia. Like her Shenandoah sister towns, Strasburg is rich in history and visitors are encouraged to take a trip into the past by visiting the Stonewall Jackson, Strasburg or Jeane Dixon Museums or the Museum of American Presidents. For more information, visit http://www.strasburgva.com/coc/default.asp or call 540-465-3187.
Approximately 10 miles north of Mount Jackson, the citizens of Woodstock welcome everyone to their charming and historic town. Woodstock was established by charter in 1761 by none other than George Washington in Virginia’s House of Burgesses and has been the county seat since Shenandoah County was formed in 1772. The limestone courthouse in the center of town was built in 1795 and was designed by Thomas Jefferson. It is the oldest continous working courthouse west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Woodstock is also the home of the North Mountain Vineyard and Winery and the Massanutten Military Academy. For more information, visit http://www.townofwoodstockva.com/ or call 540-459-2542.
Approximately 6 miles north of Mount Jackson and nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and situated in central Shenandoah County; Edinburg, incorporated in 1852, exemplifies the quaint, small town atmosphere of the valley. Along its streets are antique, craft, and gift shops as well as art galleries. A great time to visit Edinburg would be the third weekend in September when the town holds its Edinburg Ole’ Time Festival--BUT, anytime of the year is eye-candy for the soul! For more information, visit http://www.edinburgchamber.com/ or call 540-984-8318.
Located 14 miles south of Mount Jackson, New Market's (first named Cross Roads) history began in 1796 when it was established by a charter of the Virginia General Assembly. Civil War buffs look upon the New Market Battlefield with reverance and awe reminded of the sacrifices made by several hundred cadets of Virginia Military Institute under the command of General John C. Breckinridge. Three museums offer the visitor with a variety of exhibits...The New Market Battlefield Historical Park, the New Market Battlefield Civil War Military Museum and the Museum of American Cavalry. For more information, visit http://www.newmarketvirginia.com/history.htm or call 540-740-3212.
18 Hole Golf Course - Bryce Resort
Friday 18 holes/$42 after 1 p.m./$37 9 holes after 2 p.m./$22
Saturday and Sunday
18 holes/$52 after 1 p.m./$42 9 holes after 2 p.m./$25
Lake Laura is a 45-acre, man-made, private lake with a grassy beach area. Lake Laura and local streams are stocked by the state with fish including bass, pike, perch, walleye, catfish and native trout.
No fishing is permitted from the beach area at Lake Laura; however, you may fish Lake Laura by renting a paddle boat or canoe during boating and swimming hours (see above).
State fishing licenses are available in Woodstock (18 miles.....540-459-9229) at Walmart, 461 W. Resevoir Road, Woodstock, VA 22664.
Antique & Country Stores (there are many in New Market, here are a few others)
The Great Strasburg Antique Emporium
More than 100 dealers under one roof.
160 North Massanutten St. (near the Rt. 11 intersection), Strasburg, VA
Antiques by Burt Long
Offers a selection of American furniture circa 1780 through 1930. Prints, pottery, paintings, and other items available.
On Rt. 11 between Mount Jackson and New Market
The Baker's Store Established 1860 All the charm and character of Shenandoah County's oldest store, with lots of new products for today.
Hand-Dipped ice cream, fresh produce, flowers & herbs, custom gift baskets and more.
12363 Back Road
Mt. Olive, VA
Exit #291 off I-81, 1 mile west.
A wonderfully eclectic gift shop with many one of-a-kind items. Garden items, mulch, pond supplies, landscaping. Open weekends. 1.5 miles before the entrance to Bryce Resort.
3110 Orkney Grade
Don’t miss Rainbow Lake and the “slabs of bacon,” wavy dripstone formations of brown, red, and white minerals. The closest caverns to Shrine Mont, they are the home of the fascinating collection of parade floats, “American Celebration on Parade.”
Off I-81, exit 269, between Mount Jackson and New Market, VA
Built by one of the Valley’s first settlers, in 1797. A National Trust property.
336 Belle Grove Rd., Middletown, VA (north of Strasburg, off Rt. 11)
Please visit our website. www.bellegrove.org
Frontier Culture Museum
A outdoor living history museum, featuring guides in costumes working at four authentic heritage farms moved to this spot from England, Germany, Ireland, and Virginia.
I-81, exit 222, Rt. 250 west
1290 Richmond Ave., Staunton, VA
Please visit our website. www.frontier.vipnet.org
Mount Jackson Museum
Currently featuring a wonderful exhibit of Billy Landis pottery that is undoubtedly the most comprehensive exhibit of Landis works ever made available for public viewing. Open every Thurday and Friday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
5901 Main Street, Mt. Jackson, VA 22842
Please visit our website. www.mountjackson.com
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
A regional history museum dedicated to interpreting the art, history, and culture of the Shenandoah Valley. Next door to historic Glen Burnie house and gardens.
530 Amherst Street, Winchester, VA
540-662-1473 or 888-556-5799
Please visit our website. glenburniemuseum.org