Monday, April 19, 2021

Scooters - Battle at Corinth

We had a plan and it was a beautiful morning so we donned our gear and headed out on the scooters.  First we made a quick stop to fill the tanks and then off to the Natchez Trace heading North.  I always love starting an adventure on the Trace, it just sets the perfect tone for a peaceful, pleasant ride. 

After 20 miles or so on the Trace we exited and continued North on small county roads.  Some two lane and some no lane, lol.  My favorite!  We took a rest break in Altitude, MS.  Not much in Altitude and even the Fire & Rescue was in need of some serious TLC.

As usual, Eric had mapped a fantastic route that took us through beautiful winding rural roads.  My head was on a swivel looking at everything.  Of course it is so spectacular with the spring blooms.  I was pretty much in scooter nirvana 😏😜

Our first destination was lunch at Borroum's Drug Store and Soda Fountain in Corinth, MS.  Touted as Mississippi's oldest operating drug store and soda fountain, it was a must stop since we were in Corinth!  We found a great parking space in front of the County Courthouse.

And just across the street was Borroum's!

We ordered lunch, enjoyed our meal and took a look around.  The onion rings were fabulous!!

Although we didn't partake, Borroum's is well known for it's old fashioned malts and milkshakes.  Just look at those machines!  Next time (yes, we've already decided there will be a next time) we'll share a burger, onion rings and a milkshake!

After lunch we mounted the scooters and headed to the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center which was our goal for the day. 

Since we now live in the South we are determined to learn more about it's history and the Civil War is a big part of that history.  This is an amazing Interpretive Center, very well done.  The front of the building has this sculpture.

The path from the parking lot to the Interpretive Center was quite interesting in that embedded in the cement path were various detritus of war all found on this battlefield.  The next few photos give you an example of the things we saw on the path, cast in bronze and scattered along the path.  Certainly made the walk up to the main building interesting and slow!

When we entered the Interpretive Center we were warmly greeted by the NPS Ranger who gave us a run down on how to best enjoy the Center.  We started with an 18 minute video that told us the story of the Battle at Corinth and how important Corinth was to both sides of the Civil War.  Located in Corinth, MS were two of the most important railroads in the Confederacy.  The Memphis & Charleston linked the Mississippi River to the Atlantic seaboard by way of Chattanooga.  The second line, the north-south Mobile & Ohio, connected Columbus, KY with Mobile, AL.  Their intersection made Corinth the most strategic transportation hub in the western Confederacy.  Of course, the Union Army wanted to control this intersection because they could then cut off the supply line to the South.

Click here to learn more about this important site.  Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center. 

After watching the introductory video we then toured the center, reading the exhibits and learning about the impact the battles here had on people.  So much to take in!  So many killed 😭  Such brutal conditions.  Very sobering...

At the time Corinth had 3 hotels and the Corona College, a school for young women.  All of these buildings were turned into hospitals to deal with the carnage.  

We finished the inside exhibits and walked out the back of the Center to find a small cemetery with headstones engraved as "Unknown Confederate Soldier" as well as several monuments to Texan soldiers who died here in the battles.

There were also two cannons strategically placed behind bunkers that had been built specifically for that purpose.

Also behind the Center was a memorial fountain.  Each of the large blocks represent a significant battle and are labeled as such.  As you walk up the fountain the years are indicated telling when each battle occurred.

Whew!  That was quite the eye opener!  I don't really know that much about the Civil War other than what we were taught in school.  Living here in the South, right on top of the most brutal battlefields, well, it's enlightening.  It is kind of hard to process at once.  Originally, we were going to head to Shiloh and another Civil War Interpretive Center.  But, after Corinth, I'd had enough death and destruction, so we decided to head home.

Again, Eric had routed us on fantastic rural roads and we totally enjoyed our mosey home.    Of course we made a few wrong turns and ended up on a couple of gravel roads, lol.  That's okay, just good practice for the upcoming Scooter Cannonball Run 😉

To make our return to home perfect, we spent the last 10 miles on the Natchez Trace!

Oh boy!  Yet another fun scooter adventure!  So loving how easy and fun these little machines are.  Stay tuned folks, we have another adventure just around the corner.

As always, thanks for following along, you're the best 🙋

Cheers, Cletha & Eric

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Mississippi Blues Trail - Part 11

 Having taken a bit of a rest after our walk-a-bout this morning we were ready to hop on the scooters and grab some more Mississippi Blues Trail (MBT) markers.  In particular we wanted to find the two we missed on Thursday.  So, we geared up, uncovered and unlocked the scooters and headed out to find our next MBT marker, Muddy Waters' House.  He has a huge catalogue but I chose this song Mississippi Delta Blues.

Burnt Cane Road is where we found the marker.

No longer called a Plantation, this farmland is now part of Stovall Farms.

That was a fun little scoot out of Clarksdale.  We then turned to find the Rocket "88" MBT marker.  On yesterday's blog I posted a link to the song Rocket "88" as Ike Turner's first big hit.  So, I found a great sounding current version by Nappy Brown and Kip Anderson.  Listen to it here

We found a lot of small back roads around Clarksdale making for a very fun scooter ride!

We were both rather surprised when we came upon the famous Crossroads because it is smack in the middle of a very busy intersection!  If you don't already know the legend of the Crossroads, I've provided a link for you!  While not a MBT marker, the Crossroads is significant to the Blues and Robert Johnson.  Here he sings "Crossroad".  I thought that appropriate 😏

We decided to continue hunting down MBT markers since we had plenty of afternoon left.  Eric's routing took us directly to the Cotton Pickin' Blues MBT marker.  This marker is also labeled Hopson Planting Co. at the official MBT website.  Pinetop Perkins plays a little Chicken Shack.

Riding along we spied this mural and had to stop!

We pulled into this place simply because of all the "stuff" scattered about.  Rusty trucks, shacks, junk, art, old signs and way too much charisma to miss!  It didn't take me but a minute to realize we were at the "Shack Up Inn".   I had read about this place a number of times and considered staying here but we decided the Up Town Motor Lodge was a better choice because we could walk to the MBT markers in Clarksdale.  The Shack Up Inn is a few miles out of town.  It's worth a visit to their website to see what it's all about.  Sure hope it gets back to business as usual when Covid slows down.  Effin' Covid 😠

I just couldn't get enough of this old fire truck at the Shack Up Inn!

Now we were back on the road to Little Junior Parker's MBT marker located in Bobo, MS.  A tiny, little curve in the road with a handful of houses and a combination Fire Station and Community Center.  Parker's Drowning On Dry Land. Smooth.......

Leaving Bobo we then headed to Alligator!  Yup, for reals, lol.  Welcome to Alligator, MS 😂

We didn't know at the time but the reverse side of this sign says See Ya Later Gator!  Hahahahahah

It didn't take long to find the Alligator Blues MBT marker because Alligator consists of two roads with a half dozen houses and a juke joint where a group of men were hanging out shooting dice on the sidewalk!  Born in Alligator, Johnny Drummer sings Bit Her in the Butt.  This song had me howling!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 😄

After grabbing this MBT marker we decided to take a different route out of town than the one we came in on.  After all, we're riding Adventure Scooters 😏  The road we chose was a very narrow one laner with thick brush on either side (along with a whole lot of garbage!).  And then, out of nowhere, it turned to dirt and gravel!

That was a very fun bit of road to explore!  Our afternoon scooter adventure was successful.  We scored five MBT markers and the famous Crossroads.  We stumbled upon the Shack Up Inn and ended the ride adventure style.  Yup, it was good.  Now it was back to the motel in Clarksdale for cocktails and dinner.  Of course we stopped to pick up a bag of ice before getting to our room, haha.

Pleasantly tired and extremely satisfied with all the MBT markers and other bonus shots we decided to just stay in and order pizza.  Easy, peasy.  Dinner done.  A bit of boob tube and it was lights out.

Saturday morning we loaded the scooters for the trek home.  But, we had one more marker to collect.  W. C. Handy Encounters The Blues.  This marker proved a bit difficult to locate.  GPS said to turn but there was a river there!  So we turned before the river and found 2nd Street but no marker.  Heck, we rode around the block and another block but no love.  So back to the highway, across the river and a quick turn right off the highway (through road construction).  Now we were in Tutwiler proper and found another 2nd Street.  Okay, we cruised 2nd Street but couldn't find it and the house numbers were getting higher and we wanted 102 or something like that.  So we turned around and slowly made our way back up 2nd Street, looking left and right for the marker.  I must say we kind of stood out on our little Honda ADV 150 Scooters wearing full gear.  Hahahaha, we got lots of looks and I just waved 😏

Then, at the curve Eric spied the marker out in a field!  Yippee!  I would have been so disappointed had we not found it as it was the last one for this adventure.  But here it is!  W. C. Handy's Yellow Dog Blues.

Murals painted on the back of a building where we found the marker.

We were so out of place that while stopped to take photos of the marker a woman pulled up in her car and wanted to know what in the heck we were doing!  She was pleasant about it but she wanted an answer.  Hahahaha!  I pointed and said we were collecting MBT markers and having a blast doing so.  She nodded, smiled and drove on.  I bet we were the topic of the afternoon.

Now, it was just point the scooters toward home and twist the throttle.  Eric took us mostly on secondary roads and the weather cooperated.  We had a quick lunch at the Sonic in Oxford, MS and made a beeline for the homestead, Cottonwood Cottage.  Then, we were home, safe and sound and happy.

It was a very fun adventure and our first overnight on the scooters!  We collected THIRTY THREE (33) MBT markers along with some other fun bonus locations and markers.  Most certainly our biggest MBT haul to date.

As the weather continues to improve and our days get longer I'm sure we will be planning another big MBT haul that takes us south to the Gulf Coast.

As always, thank you for following along with us!  Hope you enjoyed this adventure.


Cletha & Eric