Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Mississippi Blues Trail - Part 6

 Another perfect day for a scooter ride!  Clear blue skies and COLD.  So happy I have a heated jacket but before any more cold morning rides I'm going to ask my mechanic to install my heated grips!  We left the house about 8:15 am and the temperature was around 43 degrees.  Brrrrrrrrr!  I bundled up in all my gear and even put silk glove liners inside my heavy leather winter gloves.  Our first stop was to top of the gas tanks and then on to the Natchez Trace (surprised? - didn't think so, lol) heading south.

The Honda ADV150 Scooters have a very little windscreen.  Hey, it has two positions - high and low - but it just doesn't provide much wind protection.  It's pretty much like a naked bike so we get a lot more wind and a lot more bugs!  We're searching for a better screen but for now we have the stock screens.  I find the wind a bit fatiguing by the end of the day and of course it's a colder ride.  Thank goodness my wonderful mechanic installed handguards which do give us some weather protection for the hands.

To battle the cold I just cranked up the Warm & Safe heated jacket which kept me nice and toasty (except for the hands).  We knew the day would warm up but we wanted an early start because we had a ways to go to collect our next set of Mississippi Blues Trail (MBT) markers and wanted to be back home before dark.

We scooted down the Natchez Trace about 63 miles to our exit.  We were headed for Ackerman, MS and Eric outdid himself on the routing!  Such amazing roads we took and he kept us off the busy highways.  Just lovely two or one lane country roads, zig zagging across the county headed for our destination. 

Our intent was to have breakfast in Ackerman and then find the MBT marker.  We made a beeline to Weaver's Family Restaurant which looks like a wreck on the outside but had great reviews.

The photos don't do it justice, lol.

It has a very small, dingy, disgusting one room dining area from which you can see the very greasy, smoky kitchen.

All the seating was family style.  You know, folding tables with six to eight chairs at each table.  All perched on a well used linoleum floor.  Ummmm, grease and goo oozed down the ancient paneled walls.  Fortunately we were the only guests because this establishment was not practicing Covid protocols at all!

When we entered (through the kitchen) I asked if we could sit anywhere and the response was sure!  So, after shucking all the moto gear and sitting down at the only semi clean table in the room, the server came over to us (sans mask) and asked what we wanted.  We stated we would like to order breakfast.  The server looked like a deer in the headlights and said "Oh, we're not serving off the menu today.  We're only serving Thanksgiving Dinner of turkey and all the trimmings starting at 2:30 today."  WTF?  You told us to seat ourselves and waited until we took off all those layers only to tell us no food for you?  You couldn't have told us at the door when we first entered?  Fuck.

Okay, back out to the scooters, pull on all the layers and head toward main street and the MBT marker.  Ackerman, MS is very, very small and not so welcoming.  But the park was easy to find and we scored some bonus markers as well!  Two Mississippi Governor's were from Ackerman.  (No comment, lol)

And there was the MBT marker!  Two Steps From The Blues

Unfortunately the back side of the marker was roached from sun and weather but if you click on the link above you will be able to see and read the marker.  Born in Ackerman and later moved to  Texas Johnny Brown wrote Two Steps From the Blues.

This is the view of Ackerman's Main Street.  It's rather a sad little town :-(

Well, we weren't going to get any breakfast in Ackerman so we decided to push on to our next location which was located in Crawford, MS, a town even smaller than Ackerman!  Eric had routed us to avoid big highways and we criss-crossed the county on small lanes.  This road had a sign that said "Pavement Ends".  Deja Vu.  The pavement deteriorated to a pock filled lane that was bouncing us up and down and side to side.  It was a relief to hit gravel, lol!  So there we were, riding down a gravel road for who knows how long.  

Other than a bit of washboard and some deep, slushy bits, it was overall a decent road that lasted about 2 1/2 miles before we struck pavement again.  For the most part I was behind Eric and I ate plenty of dust this morning, hahahaha!  Then, I jumped ahead of him so he could get his share of dust 😏

Tootling along we were on another small lane and encountered this sign.  Hmmmmm.....more gravel?

Nope, no gravel.  The road actually ended, hahahaha.  But we had a choice of right or left.  We chose right on the paved road and made it to Crawford where we quickly found our MBT marker.  Big Joe Williams.

Baby Please Don't Go

Crawford had no eateries so we pushed on to our next MBT location, Macon, MS.  What an awesome Welcome Center!  A couple of old time gas pumps and murals!  Macon was happening 😄

We easily located the MBT marker.  Black Prairie Blues.

Eddie Clearwater sings Muddy Waters Goin' to Run Clear.

Bonus markers in Macon for the First Court in Noxubee County.

And the gorgeous Noxubee County Courthouse.

Finally in Macon we were able to find some food!  No, not a Sonic, but a Southern franchise called Bumper's Drive In.  Similar to Sonic but the food was sooooooo much better!  Nice surprise.  Staff was Covid protocol compliant and we ate outside.  Nice!

After lunch we had only one more MBT to find in a town called Weir.  Again on small, rural roads we meandered our way about 50 miles or so and rode into Weir.  This was by far the smallest town on the day's agenda!  Weir, MS only has about 450 residents.  It does have a library and Town Hall and a small grocery store 😉

We easily found the Choctaw County Blues marker.

Unfortunately the back of the marker is unreadable due to weather damage.  So, go to the link above to read the text from the back side of the sign.  Levester "Big Lucky" Carter singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot.  Although a Spiritual or Gospel song this piece exemplifies the soul of the blues.

The Town Hall/Library was decorated for the season.

A picture of Weir Front Street.

The local grocer on Main Street.

That completed the MBT markers for today.  We turned our scooters toward the Natchez Trace and home.  We had about 70 miles to ride the Trace and made a quick stop at the Chickasaw Council House pullout.

Some very interesting history along the Natchez Trace.

Not to mention the beautiful, peaceful views and lovely road.

We were home before 4:00 pm after riding 271 (s)miles.  I think this was my longest day yet on the ADV150.  The seat is definitely becoming more comfortable as I ride more.  The heated jacket kept me comfortable all day as the temps never got above 67 or so.  With the meager windscreen I find even the upper 60's a bit chilly so the heated jacket is a big win!  

Tracking down the MBT markers is great fun and I'm looking forward to our next adventure.  Maybe I'll have heated grips for the next run!  Mississippi back roads are amazing and I'm so delighted my honey is such a good navigator, keeping us off the big highways and showing us wonderful out of the way places.  The scooters are a hoot to ride and all these forays are just training runs for the Scooter Cannonball Run next summer.  And, not only are we building our scooter stamina but we're learning a ton, meeting fun peeps and having a wonderful time.

Stay tuned for the next adventure!  Thank you so very much for following along.

Cletha & Eric

PS - Forgot to say effin' Covid!

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