After a slightly disappointing free breakfast at the Best Western in Indianola, we packed up the car and headed towards Leland (birthplace of the frog!) to visit the Jim Henson exhibit and pick up route 61 (the Blues highway) north towards Memphis. Apparently our GPS has a sense of humour since it directed us to drive into the river to get to the Jim Henson museum (mostly dedicated to his most famous character Kermit the Frog).

Us with Kermit.

Luckily our directions to the river took us past the museum itself, so we were able to find it quite easily after deciding that the GPS is mostly useless. The museum was small, but really interesting. The lady that ran it was very helpful, perhaps overly so, talking us through every exhibit before we got a chance to read about things for ourselves. She did give us time to look around on our own at the end though, and we got lots more information from her than if we had just wandered on our own. After posing for photos with the giant Kermit, marvelling at the memorabilia collection and visiting the gift shop (I am now the proud owner of a Kermit wallet.) we thanked the lady and got on our way. After a quick pause to take photos of the area and the creek, we headed towards Clarksdale, home of the blues. Arriving in Clarksdale, we were disappointed to learn that our GPS (no longer a lady, now “Scottish Jim” with a constant craving for Irn Bru) had once again taken us to the wrong place. A phone call to the Rock’n’Blues museum and a short drive later we finally reached our destination, you guessed it, the Rock’n’Blues museum. Getting away with student rates (love it when they do that!) we found that we had the museum to ourselves. This was great as we could peruse the exhibits and short film at our leisure, not having to get irritated with people standing in the way of things we were trying to read. The museum was good and I learnt a great deal about many blues “greats” and legends, including the legend of Robert Johnson.

THE Crossroads

As legend would have you believe, he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his musical ability, believers of this legend point out how this story is supported by his music, songs like “Cross Road Blues” (where he allegedly sold his soul) and “Hellhound on my Trail”. Our next stop, naturally, was to find the famous crossroads where this allegedly took place. It took us a little while to find them, since they are not at the current crossroads of Routes 61 and 49, but at their original crossroads, closer to the centre of town. The spot is marked by three blue guitars, and once you have found it is somewhat hard to miss. Pulling up nearby we went to take photos before returning to the car for the drive to Memphis. We left rather quickly after a weird old man pulled up and wouldn’t stop staring at us… weird! The drive to Memphis was dull and a little rainy, and we arrived at our hotel late afternoon. Despite the cheap price, we were impressed with the Ramada Inn, and they had upgraded us to a room with two doubles, rather than the one that we had booked… score. As much as I love Liz, its quite nice not to have to share a bed (/sofa/airbed) with her every night for six months! We had a chilled out evening with TV, blogs and pizza. Welcome to Memphis