Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Mississippi Blues Trail - Part 8

The local weather report indicated Tuesday, December 29 might be our only opportunity for a scooter ride before the rain set in.  With that in mind, Eric planned a route that would get us three more Mississippi Blues Trail (MBT) markers.  Since the days are short this time of year our route would only take us about 170 miles.  We made an early lunch and were out of the house by 12:30 pm riding along in beautiful blue skies but somewhat chilly temperatures.  Unlike all the other bikes I've ridden on the street, my little Honda ADV 150 doesn't have any wind protection so you basically get blasted in the chest and shoulders with the cold wind.  We did add hand guards and I have heated grips so that helps a bit and I did have my grips on the entire ride, lol.

Our route was not particularly scenic or interesting and for the most part we stayed on two lane county highways with a 55 mph speed limit.  No problems, the scoots are quite capable of holding the 55 mph speed limit.  Well, except for hills ... the scooters slow down a bit and we have to crank the throttle wide open, hahahaha.  Good fun 😄

We passed through several small towns that we've visited before on our MBT adventures but didn't stop.  We had a goal of reaching Ashland, MS for our first MBT marker.  About 75 miles into our ride we cruised into Ashland, a tiny burg boasting a population of around 500.  The Town Square Courthouse building now hosts a museum and the grounds were nicely decorated for the Holiday Season.  


<Elvis voice>Thank you, thank you very much! </Elvis voice>


Unfortunately, the buildings surrounding the Town Square are pretty much empty and many are crumbling into eventual oblivion.


There is a Geological Survey marker on the Town Square grounds.  I always thinks these are fun to find.

And the second Time Capsule we've found on our MBT adventures!  I wonder what in the world might be hidden inside?

Another marker in honor of Nathan Bedford Forrest.  Not only a Confederate Army General but he was also the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan!!!!  Wowza, what you didn't know before!!!  This plaque caught our interest because it was placed by the Woodmen of the World.  Before moving to Mississippi neither of us had ever heard of Woodmen of the World.  Now, we see cemetery markers and other monuments all over the place honoring Woodmen.

Of course, the most important marker and the reason for our ride to Ashland was the MBT marker in honor of Willie Mitchell.  

You can listen to some of Willie's instrumental music here Willie's music.


Before departing Ashland I had to make a wardrobe change!  During our 75 mile ride I got cold.  The temperature said 60 degrees or so but with no windbreak, dang, I got chilled.  Fortunately, all I had to do was pull out the heated jacket 😆.  Now wearing my heated jacket and a buff tucked around my neck I plugged in and cranked the heat controller until I was toasty warm and we could continue our adventure.  Eric said he wasn't cold but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't install heated grips at a minimum sometime soon!

Okay, off for our next MBT marker.  We now headed to Cayce, MS.   This unincorporated town is so small that if you blink you will miss it!  Truth!  However, Eric's navigation skills were spot on and he took us directly to the MBT for Rufus Thomas.  


Oh my, it was sooooooo difficult to pick a song but this one makes me laugh and want to get up and dance!!  Do The Funky Chicken!

The MBT marker was at the corner of the Fire Department where we found this plaque.  "Ride By On A Galloping Horse" 

Yes, we really did ride our scooters!  The sky here was ominous but never rained and cleared up as we returned toward Tupelo.

Now, on to our third and final MBT marker in Holly Springs, MS.   There is a beautiful Court House at the Town Square.

Unlike Ashland, Holly Springs is vibrant with many businesses located all around the square.  Some empty spaces but lots of renovation going on and a number of boutiques dot the square.  Many of the buildings have a New Orleans vibe.

We quickly located the Hill Country Blues marker. 


R. L. Burnside sings Chain of Fools.


Time for us to head home.  A straight shot on Hiway 178 but we encountered an obstacle!  The road was CLOSED!  Dang, a detour at this point would get us home after dark and I wasn't too excited about riding the little ADV150 on dark county highways! 


They had placed machinery across the road to prevent traffic from going through.  At either end of the machine were ditches full of mud and then a severe drop-off into the creek below.  Prudence dictated Eric push the scooters past the machine and through the ditches.  He had to squeeze between the front bucket and the tracks where the surface dipped.   I trooped along behind fully packing my boots with fresh mud.  Our little scooter tires were pretty well packed with mud too 😅  



And then we re-mounted our sturdy steeds and rode on through the remaining road construction weaving through the Road Closed signs.  Rebel Scooters!!!  Fuck you and your Road Closed signs, we're on Adventure Scooters and we'll go where we want!  So there 😝  Oh, also, Fuck you COVID!


Flinging mud for several miles kept me at a distance from Eric.  At first, I could feel the uneven tire because of the packed mud but eventually enough mud came off and riding returned to normal.  We arrived home at 5:00 pm, just before turning into pumpkins!

We enjoyed a hot cocoa with Kahlua (Eric added Amaretto and Eggnog to his drink!).  That warmed us up nicely.  Below is a screen shot of our route.  170 miles and a ton of fun.  The current weather forecast does not bode well for a ride so we'll just have to wait for another opportunity to search out more MBT markers.


I hope you enjoyed our little adventure and the MBT markers and history.  We're having a lot of fun learning so much about Mississippi, the Blues and the history of this area.  Who knows what we'll find next!

Cheers,
Cletha & Eric


12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You're welcome. Thank you for following our silliness!!! Stay tuned, there will be more :-)

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  2. Great pictures great stories and links to important focus of your stops. 👏

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    1. Thank you! We're having a lot of fun doing the Mississippi Blues Trail markers. There are lots and lots left for us to get so we'll be doing this for a while, lol.

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  3. Fun fact: the piano player Rufus in Kill Bill (played by Sam Jackson) used to play with Rufus Thomas when he came through town. :)

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    1. Well that's very cool. Thanks for that tidbit!

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  4. Tell Eric to get off his ass and clean the remaining mud off your scooter...☺

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    1. LOL, he cleaned my boots and I think he cleaned the scooters, too!

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  5. In Eugene, OR there is a WOW hall. It was build as a Woodmen of the World (W.O.W.) lodge. It is now a Community Center for the Performing Arts.
    https://www.wowhall.org/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.O.W._Hall

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  6. As always, great storytelling and pix; thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

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