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Nov 11, 2009 at 08:15 PM

The Basye and Orkney Springs, VA Vortices (a.k.a. "vortexes") are located on the western edge of the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, about 2 hours by car from Washington, DC., four hours from either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, PA, and a little more than two and a half hours from Richmond, VA. 

Orkney Springs is the older of the two communities, which might have been considered one in the early days (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries); the two village centers are separated by 1.5 miles. The entire area is charged with subtle energy but it is concentrated in six, possibly seven locations. To understand how these separate locations are really part of one vortex even geologically, it is helpful to know something about the karst terrane that is the "floor" of a large part of the Shenandoah Valley and which is responsible for the appearing and disappearing streams and springs for which Orkney Springs was known from the beginning. [Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation provides this excellent PDF on karst topography.]

The three vortices ("vortexes") in Basye are found by Lake Laura, a 44-acre body of water just to the south of Basye center. Reached via Arnold Rd., off Rte 263 in Basye, the scenic lake is used for recreation and a walkable bridle path goes around it. Laura collects waters from Stoney Creek (originating in Orkney Springs), and is considered a vortex in itself, but the most noted concentrations of energy are at two specific spots on the bridle path. The first of these, called Ashe Vortex, is located halfway between the north and south ends of the lake along the western part of the bridle path. It is a long section of the path bounded on the west by the back and forth motion of Ashe Drive. The Red Serpent Vortex is part of Ashe; the third is Horseshoe Vortex, located on the other side of the lake close to the southern end. See our FAQ showing a topography Googlemap of Ashe Vortex, and also the Touring the Vortex page. 

The village of Orkney Springs VA, epicenter of the Basye Vortex, is 1.7 miles southwest of Basye, backed up by the George Washington National Forest. There are four vortex locations in Orkney Springs, three of them active, all near the center of the village: the Orkney Spring itself, the Loop Vortex (a.k.a. Ankh), and the Cathedral (Shrine Mont) Vortex. See our FAQ and Touring the Vortex pages for more detail.

View Larger Map (GoogleMaps.) 

The border of West Virginia is a mile and a half away from Orkney Springs. Meems Bottom, alleged site of the Shendo (Senedo) or the Shawnee native Americans, and of the historic Meems Bottom covered bridge over the N. Fork of the Shenandoah, is located just south of the town of Mount Jackson, some 12 miles to the east of Basye.

Distance to Basye (d=driving, acf=as crow flies) from:

Mount Jackson, VA: 12 miles (d)
Charlottesville, VA: 99 miles (d)
Washington, DC: 115 mi. (d)
New York, NY: 332 mi. (d)
Houston, TX: 1322 (d)
Sedona, AZ: 1839 mi. (acf)

Paris, France: 3918 mi. (acf)
Cairo, Egypt: 5907 mi. (acf)
Jerusalem, Israel: 5993 mi. (acf)
Akhetaten, Egypt: 6000 mi.* (acf)

based on latitude and longitude. Basye is located at 38:48:25N 78:47:33W Elevation: 1354 feet.

HOW TO GET TO BASYE. You can drive in, or fly in. By car, you take Rt 263 E. from Mount Jackson, VA, a settlement about 12 miles east of Basye. Mount Jackson is at Exit 273 off Route 81, the major N-S road in Shenandoah Valley.

SKY BRYCE AIRPORT. No commercial flights. No student solo. No touch & go. No fuel. Call 800-821-1444 if you're planning to fly in.  Daylight Operations Only. VFR only. - Airport info courtesy of Jim Pellien and The Pilot Shop, "home of the $100 hamburger." For more information, together with a photo of the runway and details on traffic, visit AirNav.com. (NOTE: Jim Pellien was fatally injured near Bryce in the crash of a small plane he was piloting, on November 11, 2006.)

WHERE TO STAY. You have choices. You can stay at Bryce Resort, (800 821 1444). Or at The Hill Condominiums (1 800 307 3938) - so centrally located that you can walk to the Community Store for staples. The hotel at Shrine Mont in Orkney Springs provides lodging from April to November. Call 540 856 2141 for information. There are several other timesharing and rental locations in the area - but the foregoing is a start.



images/stories/meems4.jpgMap showing the location of the historical Meems Bottom Bridge. The structure has been burned down and rebuilt more than once - for instance, General Stonewall Jackson had the bridge burned during his 1862 campaign. The town of Mount Jackson (named after Pres. Andrew Jackson) is just north of Meems. The bridge is located 1/2 mile west of Rt. 11, where Wissler Rd. crosses over the North Fork of the Shenandoah. Map copyright Mapquest.com; Meems Vortex location added.



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