We headed north on the famed Highway 61 (yes, Bob Dylan also immortalized that highway that connected the Mississippi Delta blues to Minnesota). As a harbinger of the finest fried foods the South has to offer (seriously, they DO know how to fry food in the South – crisp, not greasy or oily), we had to stop and take photos and purchase cracklins from a roadside market – Praise da Lard!
We stopped at the Melrose Estate (not plantation, as the mansion was not on-site adjacent on their fields) outside Natchez. Our intern/guide CJ, soon to graduate from Alcorn State, for this historic National Park site, was the grandson of the longest-living resident there, having lived there into his 90’s and had a unique knowledge of the home, being a servant to the last owners. He taught CJ about the house, and his oral history is being documented by the NPS.
Pushing on, the terrain changed from beautiful rolling hills to the flat, flat delta with huge acreage of corn, enabling us to see a gorgeous Mississippi sunset, as we rolled into Clarksdale around 7:30 pm. Juke Joint Festival, here we come!