Frequently Asked Questions
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If you have any other questions not covered here or on our website, we welcome any inquiries by phone or email.
Blue Sky Vineyard is just a five minute walk from Rocky Comfort Cabins or about a two minute drive in your car.
You cannot see the winery from the cabin and patrons at Blue Sky Vineyard have no idea there are cabins behind the beautiful stretch of treeline.
For Creole guests, we have mowed a path for you to walk which opens onto one of Blue Sky's own paths around the grapevines.
Very romantic on a moonlit night. Just sayin'.
For The Cove guests, there is a private WOODED trail that meanders through that same stretch of trees. The trail through the woods to Blue Sky from the cabin is right off the driveway. It is a wooded trail so all things you'll find in the woods should be expected. The Hollow guests can use The Creole path or later this year we may have a separate option through the prairie. We even provide a flashlight for each cabin for you to use in case you are walking at night.
Check-in is no earlier than 3:00pm. Check-out is no latere than 11:00 am. We do need the whole four hours to prepare the cabin for our incoming guests.
Checking in between 3:00 and 6:00 is preferred. We may or may not be on the premises upon arrival. We do not live on the property so if there is anything that comes up after 6:00 please contact us but, unless it is something that needs attention (such as water or electricity), we will come to the cabin to address the issue the next morning. Please call Ed if you have any questions about this so he can address any concerns or questions you may have.
The distance between The Cove and The Creole Cabin is a hundred yards (football field) apart. Hobbit Hollow is about two football fields away from The Cove and the Creole. The most important factor when building the cabins was to maintain the privacy of each cabin. When you pull in through the gate at Rocky Comfort Cabins, you'll drive up a little hill. The Creole Cabin is on the left at the top of the ridge. The Cove is a little further down. The Cove is 102 yards (a football field) north of the Creole and The Hollow is measured at 200 yards from the Creole Cottage. From the Creole Cottage you cannot see the activities at either of the other cabins and they cannot see you because of the way we sited them. The distance can seem deceiving because the view is so long and vast. The Cove guests have their own path through the woods to get to Blue Sky. All cabins share a common driveway in and out of the property.
Snow and Ice
If you reserved time during the winter months, please keep your eye on the weather in the days prior to your stay. If there is any ice or snow, we highly recommend having an AWD vehicle. These are not city roads and it takes time for the county to plow any snow or ice. This is back country.
Our property is off of Panther's Den Road. There is a gated entrance that is shared by all cabins. Each cabin has its own private driveway. It is a long hilly driveway. In the event there is snow or ice please understand and be aware that it is not possible for us to plow it. We will do our best to work with the conditions but please be prepared as you would when traveling to anywhere there is the possiblity of inclement weather. Usually with an AWD or Four wheel drive vehicle it is fine. When there is ice, nobody moves. Especially for winter stays we HIGHLY recommend Insuring Your Vacation plans. We try our very best but some things are just simply out of our control.
There is no wireless internet at Rocky Comfort Cabins - we encourage guests to Unplug and Reconnect. There is cell service, but we've found that going out on the porch or patios makes for a clearer signal. Texting usually works but again, it depends on your provider. Hollow guest usually need to go out on the patio for texting.
An eloquent yet simple message came with this image from Richard, a recent guest: "We were not there to connect with the world, we were there to connect together."
There is free wifi at Blue Sky Vineyard.
Cell service is dependent on your provider and exactly where you are in the area. Verizon generally provides the best service for our location. AT&T not so much. The Creole sits highest on the property so it gets the best cell service. The Cove is set into a hill and a little lower but it still has decent cell service. If you really want to relax and disconnect, The Hollow is your cabin! Because it is in a Hollow AND it is mostly underground, cell service inside is almost non-existent. We usually have to go outside and up a few feet to get two bars :) There are no landlines. Please remember that these are the Shawnee Hills. Cell service goes in and out dependent on the terrain and your provider.
All three cabins each have DIRECTV with a 40" LED TV in the living room. The Creole also has a TV in the bedroom.
No Pets Please
We love our pets and understand the desire to bring them with you, but as of now, there is a no pets policy. We know how difficult it is to leave a furry family member behind. It is not that we are not "pet friendly. We have to board our own pets (two dogs and four cats) when we travel and it breaks our heart every time. As for the cabins, after a couple of tries at allowing pets it didn't go too well so we do have to stick with our policy. If you have a Service Animal, please contact us.
Please check with us if you would like to have guests such as local family members visiting with you at the cabin for short visits. Generally that is fine as long as we have a heads up. The hot tubs are also only for guests noted on the reservation. Please be mindful of guests at the other cabins. Do not play loud music outside.
The Cove, The Creole, and The Hollow are meant for two people only.
We take our coffee very seriously. One of the best parts about taking some vacation time is being able to relax over a good cup of coffee. We provide fresh whole bean coffee locally roasted by Jen's Joe. Mmmmmm, the rich aroma of freshly ground and brew gourmet coffee. Each cabin has an automatic 10 cup drip coffee maker. The Creole House has a ten cup Bunn coffee maker. We do not have the single cup Keurig coffee makers because of the issue with the Keurig cups going into landfills. If you only want a half a pot each coffee maker can do a smaller portion. We only provide caffeinated coffee and enough for your stay. We found that when there was decaf the beans were never used so you may want to bring your own if decaf is your choice. There is cream and sugar in the cabinet above the coffee maker.
"Wilderness: an area of undeveloped federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is managed so as to preserve its natural conditions."
Panther's Den is one of seven areas in the Shawnee National Forest designated by Congress as Wilderness. It is the smallest, only 900 acres, but it's northern boundary is the Crab Orchard Wilderness which is 4,000 acres of the Crab Orchard National Wild Life Refuge. At the south end of Devil's Kitchen Lake, the heart of Panther's Den is a maze of deep, narrow canyons with cave like passageways. It is one of our favorite places and less than a 2 mile hike from the Creole Cottage or a mile and a half drive to the National Forest trail head.
We have an outdoor firepit at each cabin. Firewood bundles can be purchased locally. Please bring your own kindling and do not gather wood from the surrounding property. During dry conditions we ask that you do not make a fire.
The Creole Cabin currently has the largest hot tub that is on a deck connected to the back porch with a full roof structure - the hot tub pavilion. There are luxurious Turkish cotton robes for your use with hooks on which to hang the robes in the pavilion. We also provide white spa towels to be used to dry off. Quite cozy and, on a clear night, you can still see the stars and the moon.
The Cove and The Hollow have a covered five person hot tub that is on a deck connected right off of the bedroom. There are luxurious Turkish cotton robes and white spa towels for your use. Listening to the coyotes and owls at night while soaking in the hot tub is surreal.
We do request that guests please follow the policies for the hot tubs for many reasons, including your safety. Only the guests on the reservation for each cabin may use each hot tub. If you have friends at the other cabins, we ask that only the two guests listed on the Creole reservation use that hot tub.
We provide enough towels for the reservation occupancy. All cabins have a washer and dryer for your use.
Luxurious bedding is also provided, including scrumptious sheets and pillows.
We provide an initial supply of the basics such as soap, toilet paper, paper towels but you may want to bring extra, especially if there are more than two of you and you plan on staying longer than a couple of days. Bring food. We'll have coffee, sugar and creamer. Weekend guests and stays four days or longer will have 1/2 dozen eggs and some pastry assortment.
Blue Sky Vineyards has a menu but they generally close at sunset. Most other restaurants you will need to drive about 10 to 15 minutes and up. See our attractions page for a list of places for shopping and restaurants. We highly recommend bringing your own food on your way out to your cabin. The closest grocery store is about 20 minutes away either in Carbondale, Goreville, or Marion.
There are two firearm deer seasons in Illinois - the third weekend in November and the first weekend in December. We are not hunters but we do need guests to be aware.
These are the Shawnee Hills and most places are not safe to hike during hunting season. If you go out into the woods you are required to wear the appropriate attire. The Cove guests cannot use the woods to get to the winery for those weekends but you can walk around the tree line and use the Creole House and Hobbit Hollow path. If you do wish to go hiking, please feel free to ask Ed where hiking is allowed for those two weekends.
Please do a thorough check of the cabin before checking out from your stay. It is quite an expense to return items left behind. If something has been left behind and you would like it sent to you, please understand that we will charge the card on file for the cost of returning it plus 10% for the time and materials needed to get it shipped.
If you are from North America, South America, Asia...you probably know what these are.
Most of the year they are just a nuisance but September and October they are more robust.
We are battling them, the parks, vineyards and wineries, and anybody that has a house, in town or out of town, are battling the non-native ladybugs. We are continuously doing the best we can to control an uncontrollable part the environment but the fact is, these Asian Ladybugs are here to stay. Yay! Not.