We got off to a late start. The ordinary hotel breakfast fare was even less than ordinary by the time we arrived at 10am.
We crossed the I-20 to a shopping mall and plaza which seemed to be designed to make you drive from store to store. The Best Buy store at Monroe didn’t have a great selection of ultrabooks but they did enable yours truly to purchase the first CDs of the trip. Also I met Rizzi who is a bouncer at the legendary Tipitinas in New Orleans. He is also a guitarist who has played with legendary George Porter Jr of The Meters et al.
On the road again, heading due east. The Sirius Satellite Radio in the car included the Outlaw Country station which played some siriusly good music and it had the sassy Elizabeth Cook as host for some of the way.
At the Mississippi State border was the Mississippi River and the town of Vicksburg. The day was hot – about 100 degrees F – the air was clear – the sky was blue – and Ol’ Man River looked truly, truly beautiful.
We were recommended a luncheon eatery that proved to be more interesting than taste tantalising – the open roast beef sandwich smothered in gravy with a side of fries not being my finest choice. Still, the iced tea was delightful.
Then we stumbled upon Highway 61 Coffee House for coffees and mango juice. The proprietor has been going to New Orleans’ Jazz Fest since the mid 1980s. The double-shot lattes were excellent, as was the ambience.
The drive out of Vicksburg, alongside lines and lines of graves provided a chilling reminder of its Civil War history.
We then turned our Town And Country north, onto Highway 61. The Mississippi delta was indeed shining like a National guitar. Corn and cotton fields and vast flat expanses, stretching as far as the eye could see. A significant cultural and musical landmark was found – for those who enjoyed the mysterious delights of Tav Falco and the Panther Burns at Byron Bay’s Bluesfest this year, here we stopped at the inspiration of that quizzical artist – Panther Burn plantation.
Then it was a gas stop and full steam to Clarksdale and The Shack Up Inn. It was past 6.30 so we checked in and quickly gathered for a celebratory drink on Sandra’s porch watching the sun go down. It was great to be back. Monday is live music night so we checked out J. H. Sitton while doing some local chip tasting.