Heartland Business Has Cabin Fever

Alan and Margaret Tigg stayed in a log cabin while vacationing in Tennessee several years ago. Back home in Southern Illinois, they thought about building a rental cabin. They looked and looked for the right plance and finally found it. Ten acres of woods bordering the Shawnee National Forest just west of Jonesboro and south of Alto Pass.

But would their idea go over? ' We worried', said Margaret. ' We hoped that if we built it they would come.' The first guests checked in during the spring of 2001 and business has been growing ever since. They've had honeymooners, one proposal, birthday and anniversary guests. They're surprised how many people from Chicago and Kansas City have checked in.

Cabins have two bedrooms, one upstairs and one down, and a living room sofa that makes a bed. Each cabin can sleep a maxium of six people. One cabin has a single bath and the other a bath and a half. They're open year round and have daily, weekly and monthly rates.

The cabins, which are finished knotty pine on the inside, aren't what some guests expect. Alan says, ' Usually they're in awe because they expect an old cabin and when they see the newer cabin they're pretty amazed. And they love the hot tub.'

The hot tub is on the rear deck which bumps up against forest where deer often come calling. Other amenities include TV and VCR, microwave, stove, toaster, dishwasher, coffee maker with coffee, refrigerator, central heat, central air, dishes, cook ware, gas fireplace, towels and line. There's no requirement that you have to rough it to relax.

Rustic Hideway Cabins are close to most Southern Illinois tourist attractions. ' That's why we chose it.' says Alan. The Shawnee Wine Trail is a few miles away. Also nearby are Bald Knob Mountain, Little Grand Canyon, Pomona Natural Bridge, Trail of Tears State Park, hiking, fishing, golf , antiquing and, in season, berry picking.

Guests view the sights and, according to Alan, They sort of see it as God's country. Southern Illinois is peaceful and quiet.

And the Tiggs are waiting to say welcome. Reservation information is available on Rustic Hideaway Cabins website at www.rustichideawaycabins.com .

Alan and Margaret say two cabins are enough for now. Both have jobs and a third cabin would be fulltime work. Along with reservations, they do all the cleaning and maintenance.