The retreat is located approximately 7-8 miles northeast of Marlinton in Pocahontas County, WV. For those of you with GPS devices, that’s 38.21918 N X 79. 98855 W give or take a few seconds.
- From the northeast:
this is the route I take through/across the mountains-
I get off l-81 just south of Harrisonburg, VA at Bridgewater and take Rt 42 south; this route will ultimately bring you to Rt 39 west at Goshen, VA; watch out for the SHORT dogleg in Centerville, VA that is about 1/4 mile long-it will trick you and you will miss the turnoff; follow Rt 39 west right across the border into WV; after crossing border you will follow Rt 39 thru Minnehaha Springs and Huntersville; immediately after the 2 bridges at Huntersville you will turn right onto Rt 28 north[there is no 28 south at this point]. go exactly 3.1 miles on Rt 28 – there are small green 1 mile markers on the right of the road; on the left there will be some tall pines and a driveway turning off to the left just after them. The retreat house sets back from the road about 100 yards. this is the retreat site. There is a large white house down over the bank on the right. This is NOT where you want to go – turn around.
Second option:Through the mountains from Harrisonburg: this also a right scenic route.
take Rt 33 west out of Harrisonburg, VA to Franklin, WV; RT 220 south through Monterey, VA to Vanderpool -4 more miles; take Rt 84 west [there is no 84 east at this point] across border to Frost, WV; take Rt 92 south to Minnehaha Springs and follow directions above.
Third option: lf you don’t want to travel throught he mountains,
come around by way of l-81 and l-64 south; then l-64 west at Lexington, VA to Rt 92 north at White Sulphur Springs WVA; Rt 92 north will meet Rt 39 at the VA/WV border. use instructions above.
- From southeast: come up to Roanoke VA; north on l-81 to Fincastle VA; take Rt 220 north to l-64 west at Clifton Forge VA; follow directions above to White Sulphur, etc.
- From south: north on l-77 to l-64 at Beckley WVA; l-64 east to White Sulphur Springs; you will have to wind thru town to get to Rt 92 north. follow above directions.
- From south west and some of northwest: you will be coming thru Charleston WV this way on l-64 east [&l-77 south] use directions for l-64E OR you can head north on l-79 at Charleston; get off on Rt 19 south [a 4 lane road] and go down to Muddlty exit; pick up Rt 55 east called the Highland Trace; you will follow this east picking up Rt 39 east near Richwood; after Richwood you won’t see a house for about 30 miles & and part of the time you will be going thru the Yew Pine Mountains; [Rt 219 at Mill Point you will be about 2 miles from my present home and Elaine's Morning Star FolkArt Emporium in Hillsboro];follow Rt 39 east across the bridge and thru Marlinton; after leaving Marlinton the first left you come to[4 miles] is Rt 28 north. see directions above.
- From the north: l-79 to Weston WVA; Rt 33 east to Elkins; south on Rt 219 south to Marlinton and meet Rt 39 east. OR you can go on down to Rt 19 south/Muddelty/Highland Trace. see directions above
- From the northwest: either to to Parkersburg WVA; take Rt 50 east[4 lane] to Clarksburg; then l-79 south to Weston Rt33 east or go on down to Rt 19 south and the Highland Trace Rt 55 east……OR you can take l-77 south around by north Charleston and pick up either l-79 north and go up to Rt 19 south or stay on l-77/64 and stay on l-64 to White Sulphur. see above
Suggestions for Retreatants
What do you need to bring? Banjo, strings, extra bridge if you can, recorder and LOTS of recording media, you can always erase later.
Sheets/towels/blankets are furnished. I try to keep fruit and juices on hand. Sodas need to be brought by the student. The setting is cool because it sets at the mouth of a long hollow. Even in summer it is best to have something that is warm for those evenings. The insect problem is usually non-existant; however last summer we did experience a few problems with gnats BUT not the biting black gnats of the north. Marlinton is 7 miles away and you have access there to 2 grocery stores, 2 drug stores that sell tapes, a fine old real hardware store that sells good banjo/guitar/fiddle strings very reasonable, and some restaurants. If you are driving and have an extra fan, you might throw it in during the summer months.
There are thousands of acres of national forest to walk over behind the house, and you will have to work hard to get lost. I do recommend that you bring some higher top shoes or boots because sometimes you might encounter a rattlesnake or copperhead [not the Civil War kind] if you choose to hike back there.
Leave performance worries at home. It’s my job to help you right where you are. If you already knew how to play well, then there would be no reason for you to come to me to learn. The best thing is to listen over and over and over and let me help you with what I feel is important to get what i teach. If you haven’t spent any or little time on the banjo, then all the better, that’s that many bad habits you won’t have to unlearn. Don’t worry. Just get ready by listening especially to the old people talk and play. And if you have a car that needs painting, we can help you out. CHEAP! QUICK! FROM 55 YARDS NO ONE CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE!