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Report 2041: Driving the Great Mississippi River Road

By BJinNM from New Mexico, Fall 2012

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Page 24 of 33: Day 24-...Going Down to Rosedale

photo by BJ Firestone

Kermit the Frog

Today, after having a continental breakfast and good conversation with fellow travelers at the B&B, we walked into downtown Clarksdale for the purpose of going to the Delta Blues Museum. Before getting there we ran into the Homecoming Parade for the Coahoma Community College. There were floats and live marching bands and a fun, excited atmosphere. Hope they won their game!

On the way, we had to stop at one of the funkiest stores ever, The Cat Head Delta Blues Folk Art Store. Everywhere you look there is Blues art or Blues recordings (they have their own private label), or Blues t-shirts. It is so cool!

The Delta Blues Museum is in an old warehouse and doesn't allow any picture taking. It is a compendium of old photos, paintings, recording and clothes from almost all of the well-known Blues musicians. Really well done and well researched.

We walked back to the B&B and decided to go have lunch especially since Alan pointed out that I was getting testy because I was hungry. According to him, I do that whenever I am hungry. I never noticed that -- well, okay, maybe I have noticed that! We drove to Abe's Barbecue, an institution in Clarksdale since 1924 when a Lebanese immigrant opened it. It's famous for its slow cooked Boston butt and we each enjoyed a sandwich. Funny how I perked up after that!

While we were at Abe's, we decided to drive about an hour south of Clarksdale to Leland, MS. Leland is the boyhood home of Jim Henson and there is a small museum there dedicated to him and Kermit and the rest of the Muppets. The creek out back of the museum, Deer Creek, was the inspiration for Kermit's home creek, there is a bridge dedicated to Henson's memory called the Rainbow Connection, and it was just so much fun to see our old friends, Kermit, the Count, Grover, Bert, Ernie, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang!

We had gone down to Leland on Highway 61, the Blues Highway, and so wanted to take Highway 1, the River Road Highway, back. Driving along Alan decided to take a spur road and we came to a lovely lake called Lake Bolivar. It was formerly an ox-bow which had been part of the Mississippi, but is now completely cut off from the river.

In Alan's quest to once again find roads that are on no map known to mankind, we continued down this spur road . This one turned to dirt in the middle of a cotton field and continued that way for some time. With only one wrong turn and assurances that we were not lost today, we actually got back to the River Road. We went through Rosedale and through another of the three possible contenders for the crossroads where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil for musical talent. We also tried to go to an observation tower overlooking the Mississippi River but that part of the State Park was closed.

On the way into Clarksdale, we drove through the Shack Up B&B. It is an old sugar plantation where the tenant cabins have been turned into places to stay. It was highly recommended to us by several people as a great place to stay, but we decided we wanted to be in Clarksdale and closer to the downtown.

Instead of going back to the B&B, we went to the Lady on the Levee restaurant for dinner. We were afraid if we came back to the room, we wouldn't have the energy to go out again for dinner. We also talked about going to Red's for music but are just to tired to get up and out again.

Tomorrow we leave Clarksdale and head on down to Natchez. Natchez is our second to last stop before New Orleans. Wow, this trip has gone fast.

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