I was determined to find a breakfast place this morning as we were leaving Millington TN. I found a place called the Haystack which was a little ways down the road and declared that they had the “best breakfast in town”. How could we go anywhere else. It turns out that the Haystack also doubled as a bar during the dinner hours. It had a smoking section – ugh! I even got a Christmas mug for some reason.
While we were there another patron suffered some kind of health issue and the ambulance was called. We counted at least 11 responders from the various branches of the local emergency teams. The community should be proud of the rapid response to an emergency. The problem we had was that the customers of the Haystack didn’t want to be interrupted especially during a heated game of pool. The guy in the blue shirt below is playing pool and I swear he asked the paramedic to move so he could take his next shot on the table. Fortunately, the episode ended well and the injured walked out of the place under his own power. Blue shirt lost the pool game.
We left the Haystack and headed south. The traffic picked up and before long we were in downtown Memphis. One of my least favorite things to do is to ramble around a big city not knowing where I’m headed. It’s a good thing traffic was pretty light (Sunday). I missed one turn and ended up driving right into Beale Street.
After circling the downtown area, we finally found what we were looking for – The National Civil Rights Museum which is situated on the sight of the Lorraine Motel. This is the sight of the Martin Luther King assassination. It was worth the effort it took to get there. The actions at this site started a chain of events that changed this country.
It was really heating up and we couldn’t get out of town fast enough. It was time to hit Highway 61 – the Blues Highway. Our first top was in Clarksdale, This is the site of the “crossroads” where Robert Johnson made a deal with the devil to trade his soul to become a great blues singer.
While we were at the Crossroads, a group of friends all rode in on new Harleys. As I was standing in the small grassy area near the sign, they approached and asked if I would mind taking a group picture. It turns out they were from Australia and had all rented bikes for a visit to the states. After the pictures, I turned and walked back to the trike (no more than 100 feet). I said something to a woman who was looking over our ride. She mentioned her group was mostly from the UK but there were some from Australia. I said that group over there was from Australia also and turned to point at the earlier group, they had vanished. Jana did manage to capture a photo of them so we know they existed. Strange things happen at the crossroads.
There are a lot of cool blues-related sites in Clarksdale and we saw several of them.
While the trike was parked on the street a gentleman approached us and asked if we owned the trike with Indiana plates. It turned out he went to Anderson High School and knew where Middletown was. That almost never happens. He and his wife sold their home in April and purchase a big truck and fifth wheel trailer. Their plan is to pick a series of states and spend a month in each one. It’s an interesting concept and maybe not for everyone. This guy and his wife were living large and so far think they’ve made the right choice. It’s a small world and we never would have had this conversation without our Indiana plates. We did manage to take his picture.
With the temperature hovering in the mid-90’s we needed to move on. From Clarksdale we continued south on the Blues Highway to the small town of Itta Bena. BB King said he was born near Itta Bena and we were on the lookout for his birthplace. There wasn’t a single sign anywhere in town indicating that BB King was associated with it. Time was short to we didn’t hang around. I wanted to get to the BB King Museum in Indianola, about 25 miles down the road. We discovered the Museum closed at 5:00. I was pushing the speed limit down a pretty rough road to make it in time.
We almost got there. The gift shop was all that was available to us at 4:45 when we pulled in. I got my first lapel pin and a T-shirt before they threw us out. We are debating whether to come back through there after we make the turn for home.
The only thing left to do was to head for our hotel in Greenville, MS. We rode the last 30 miles in 95 degree heat and I was worn out. It was the perfect time for pizza in the hotel room.
The weather is supposed to cool off some in the next few days. That would be good news.
So far: 756 miles from where we started.
One thought on “The Haystack, Civil Rights Museum, The Crossroads, BB King – almost”
Sounds like you guys are having a great time,,,,,,, minus the heat.
I am jealous,,,,, except for the heat.
Stay safe & ride cool. ð
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