Information for gatherings, parties, and other events

Welcome to Moonshadow!  In order to make your visit here as much fun as possible, we have some suggestions for you.


Moonshadow life is rustic and close to nature.  That means—

1.  We encourage you to park in our parking area by the main road and walk a mile up our lovely marked trails.  If you drive a car to the house, it may overheat or have problems getting up our rough slick road. You have to drive through a creek, which may be impassible.  If you do drive across the creek and it rains, you may get trapped here for days.

2.  If you need help with your bedding, food, etc.  we can arrange to shuttle it up.  Please don’t block others in, and leave your keys at Sweetgum, the house across the creek from the parking area.

2.  This brings up another point—better to arrive before dark as country roads may be difficult to navigate and our trail hard to follow in the dark.

3.  Be sure you bring the directions with you (see below).  GPS may not get you here, and we’re not always available by phone if you get lost.

IF YOU GET LOST: Call us at 423-949-4598, 949-5922, or cell 678-982-2445


1.  A good flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries.  Otherwise you won’t be able to find the road, the outhouse, a place to sleep, or anyone else.

2.  Good hiking boots for rough, wet, rocky, muddy, weedy areas slathered with poisonous snakes.  Rubber boots work well also.  Otherwise you won’t be able to get to the outhouse.

3.  In the summer-long sleeves and pants and shoes—we have lots of biting insects.  You may want to bring ORGANIC bug spray.  Otherwise you’ll be eaten up at the outhouse.  Or you can make peace with things, which we recommend, but though the journey should be for all- all will not make it.

4.  In the winter—warm clothes.  Moonshadow has minimal heating and it will be COLD outside.

5.  Bedding—even if you didn’t plan to spend the night, be prepared.  You could get stuck here with rain, ice, a new friend, or too much to drink and drive.  Bring your pillow, a camping pad, bedroll, towel, and small tent (tent optional for short visits—there are covered open areas you can sleep in).

6.  Money (not plastic)—we ask you to contribute $5-$10/day to SVI for your stay.  You may also wish to purchase art (jewelry, pottery)produced by our staff and books—we have a unique selection of excellent books.  One of the SVI staff members will be happy to take your money and provide change and a receipt if needed.


1.  NO pets—no exceptions.  We have gardens, domestic animals, and we are a nature reserve with protected wildlife.  Even the best pet can create unpleasant and unnecessary problems.  Thank you so much for your consideration.

2.  Stuff that uses electricity.  We have minimal solar electricity.

3.  Anything that you plan to leave here—we ask you to take ALL your garbage and recycling home with you, so consider what you bring with you.  Carrying an ice chest of empty bottles down the trail can be a hassle.  Here at Moonshadow, our unpaid staff has to sort and load all the garbage and recycling in our broken down truck and haul it to Chattanooga-1 hour away- to the recycling center.  This takes time, energy, and money.


1.  Plan to bring food to share—it’s good to arrange this beforehand so you don’t end up with 50 bags of chips and no dip.  Remember, you must take home all containers and garbage.

2.  Don’t expect to have ice, a refrigerator, microwave, or freezer.  If you want it cold, you’ll have to bring your own ice chest.  And take it home again.

3.  Drinking water:  Our water comes from a spring—it is alive and is not purified.  You may wish to bring your own water or a filter.  Please don’t bring purchased water.  You’ll need to take empty bottles home with you.


1.  Moonshadow is a private family home and the home of Sequatchie Valley Institute.  We are happy to share our home with you; however, please respect our home, possessions, gardens, and forest in return.

2.  Please be aware that Sequatchie Valley Institute is an un-funded non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization.  We operate completely on donations.  Our staff is volunteer and unpaid.  Your donations are tax deductible.  If you are visiting and not paying to attend an SVI workshop or program, we appreciate your generosity in contributing a minimum of $5-$10 per day while you are here to help keep our excellent programs and facilities available for everyone.

3.  Please don’t enter/harvest the gardens and greenhouses unless you are with a resident.  Please watch your children to see they don’t damage flower beds, resident wildlife (frogs, lizards, etc.), domestic animals, and the gardens.

4.  Be quick to ask a resident how you can help- volunteer- be part of the solution.  There are always many things to be done at Moonshadow and SVI—in the kitchen, office, gardens, etc., and doing things is what being here (or on earth) is about.

5.  There are many valuable, breakable, and possibly dangerous items in the house.  Please be considerate and monitor your children.  Moonshadow is not child proof. Your children are your responsibility.  They are not welcome to roam about without adult supervision. Be considerate.

6.  Our open fireplaces can be dangerous.  Do not let children or teens deal with the fires.  Never place anything flammable near the fires.  This includes blankets and cushions.  DO NOT put any bedding near the hearths.  Ask a resident for help in maintaining and adjusting the fires.

6.  NO CANDLES, kerosene lamps, or other sources of open flames.  Remember that nice headlamp you brought.  Use it instead.

7.  Water:  our water comes from a spring, and is limited.  Do not expect to have a shower or a flush toilet.  We have 2 lovely well-maintained sweet smelling compost toilets.  Follow the signs or ask a resident.  Please don’t use our indoor flush toilet.  It is very temperamental and a heavy water user.  IF YOU DO—don’t put any paper products in it—or everyone will be very sorry.

8.  No open fires outside unless monitored by a resident

9.  No smoking in or near ANY structure.  This includes Shukun (Barking Beetle Retreat Center) and the outbuildings and huts.  There are bins of sand at the goat barn in the parking area for cigarettes.  Ask a resident for information.


1.  Please leave our home and surroundings better than you found them.

2.  Do not leave perishable foods in the fridge or elsewhere.

3.  Try not to leave your possessions—chances are you’ll never see them again.

4.  All dishes should be washed and put away, all counters cleaned.

5.  All floors should be swept.  The kitchen should be mopped.  Dirty towels should be collected and taken to Sweetgum down the hill for washing.

6.  Take all the garbage and recycling you brought.  You may leave compost in our compost bucket.

7.  Empty the compost bucket in our compost heap at the foot of the garden.  You may meet a fairy there.  Ask a resident for help.

8.  Don’t forget to make a minimum donation.

Location of Sequatchie Valley Institute and Moonshadow

SVI is located just off Rte. 28 on Cartwright Loop, halfway between Dunlap (to the North) and Whitwell (to the South), in the Sequatchie Valley, about 1 hour’s drive north of Chattanooga and 18 miles north of I-24, Exit 155.

FROM CHATTANOOGA:  There are 4 possible routes from Chattanooga.  If you are unfamiliar with the area, #2 is easiest.

1.  From 27N and the Hixson area, go north  and exit onto Hwy 111, the Dunlap exit, between Soddy-Daisy and Dayton.  Cross the mountain.  Take the off ramp at the intersection with 127 and turn left.  Drive through Dunlap.  At the last traffic light, take the right fork, Rte. 28 (toward Whitwell).  You will pass the public schools on the right.  Travel 7 miles (from the intersection) to Cartwright Loop (just past a small gas station), and turn right.  See below.  Or:

2.   Take I-24 toward Nashville.  Take Exit 155, Dunlap and Whitwell (Grandview Hosp. exit) onto Rte. 28.  Continue on Rte. 28 for 18 miles (north) from the exit.  Turn left on Cartwright Loop, just after Cartwright Garage. See below.  OR:

3Take 127 across Signal Mt. to Dunlap.  Turn sharp left onto Rte. 28 at the 1st light.  Pass the public schools on the right and go 7 miles to Cartwright Loop (just past a small gas station), and turn right.  See below.  Or:

4.  lf you know the area you may also turn left off Signal Mt. Road (past Walmart) onto Suck Creek Road then continue on to cross the ridge at Suck Creek.  Go straight to Whitwell (big intersection, gas station, traffic light) then turn right toward Dunlap on Rt. 28.  We are about 8 miles north of Whitwell off Rt. 28.  After entering Sequatchie County, watch for Cartwright Garage, then Cartwright Loop on the left.  See below.

FROM NASHVILLE:  Take I-24 toward Chattanooga.  Take Exit 155, Dunlap and Whitwell (Grandview Hosp. exit) onto Rte. 28.  Continue on Rte. 28 for 18 miles (north) from the exit.  Turn left on Cartwright Loop, just after Cartwright Garage.  See below.

After turning on Cartwright Loop, go 0.7 miles to a black mailbox, #1233, and an SVI sign. Turn right and park in the parking area.  You will be met and given instructions to find the trail.  If no one is there, walk across the bridge and inquire at the house, or walk up the gravel road 1 mile to the main house.

IF YOU GET LOST: Call us at 423-949-4598, 949-5922, or cell 678-982-2445


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