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Arkansas, Clarksdale, Mississippi

Day 37 Bad luck, good luck and Arkansas


Day 37 started out really really early. So early in fact that the action started at about 1am. At the Budget Inn in Clarksdale all eyes were on me. These were eyes that I wish were not though. I made it back to my room from a night at Ground Zero Blues Club and the time came to lock the Goose and put the cover on. When I arrived at the Budget Inn the evening before, these shady looking characters just kept watching me from their motel room across the way. Being aware of that, I wanted to take a little extra precaution with how I secured the bike. I did the normal disc lock and handlebar lock. I also stuck this little motion sensitive alarm on the rear wheel.  I topped that off by covering the bike up with my tarp. When I went in the room and shut the door, I just had a feeling that those steps were not enough, so for fun I decided to leave the curtain cracked and set up my camcorder with it facing the covered bike. Since I wanted to record for a few hours, I set it up for time lapse filming. If the bike got stolen at that point then I could at least have a face on film to show the cops. I turned the lights off and felt like I did all I could to make sure the Goose would still be mine in the morning. Thank God it was still there when I woke up. Immediately I reviewed the time lapse film. Sure enough about five minutes after I turned my light off in my room and layed down, one of those shady bastards uncovered the front of my bike and quickly covered it back up. I think the guy noticed the camera in the window. I’m just glad he changed his mind. Since I was filming with time lapse I didn’t get the clearest image of the guy. All I really captured was an arm with two big, pimp like, gold bracelets. After reviewing the footage I opened my room door and a fella from a room across from mine was already looking in my direction. He continued to stare for the entire half hour it took to pack the bike up and take off. A sense of relief washed over me when I pulled out of there.

Even though all that went down I still had a few stops in Clarksdale before I left town. The Cat Head music store is a must if you find yourself in that neck of the woods and I wanted to stop by Ground Zero and get a few daytime shots of the building. With those to things down I fought a ferocious head wind all  the way down 61 south to a small restaurant called the Blue Levee. It looked like a locals only place and that was just what I was looking for. I walked in to immediately feel out-of-place. Every other guy in the place was wearing full camo gear. A spot was open at the bar so I sat down and ordered a catfish po boy and fries. That thing didn’t stand a chance. When I finished up I noticed that a few people were using their laptops so I whipped out mine and worked on the blog a bit. That was the last place I would expect to find wi-fi. A few people came over to inquire about my travels and I was happy to have a bit of conversation. People in the south really do go the extra mile to make you feel welcome. I haven’t felt the rat race feeling once since I’ve been on the road in the south. The place closes at 2pm on Saturdays so the locals filed out and I was there finishing up what I was writing until about 2:30. The staff didn’t seem to mind and for the favor I played some music on my laptop that the waitress requested while she was sweeping the floor around me. She wasn’t feeling the blues that was playing on the restaurants stereo. I finished up a bit later, gathered my things, and made my way outside with more than a handful of gear and electronics.  Two things happened next that left me feeling extremely perplexed. The first thing. I dropped my brand spanking new phone and cracked the screen. DAMN  IT! I wanted to shoot fire from my eyes!………And den, I noticed that an envelope was stuck to my bungee cord. Oh wow I thought. What was this? I turns out that someone who I talked to, took an interest in my journey, and wanted to help out with a donation of $30. It made me feel so good inside despite just ruining a brand new phone. The best part is that, all I had to do was be myself and just be happy to have someone to talk to. I’m pretty sure I know who left the money and I just want to say thank you, if you’re reading this. After that it was time to find the Mississippi River.

On they way down 1 south I came accross the Winterville Indian Mounds. These hand made mounds stand as the highest ground in this part of the Mississippi Delta area. The largest one is 30 feet high. Some cattle bones were found in the mound sometime in the 1900s. It is known that cattle weren’t introduced to this part of the americas until long after these mounds were used by the indians. One can only assume according to the facts at the location that the cattle used the mounds as safe ground when the Mississippi flooded in 1927. I ran up the 87 steps to the top and to get the view that the indians would have shared hundreds of years ago. The amount of work labor involved in move that much dirt by hand is hard to contimplate.

Earlier while eating at the Blue Levee I decided to go ahead and visit the southeastern corner of Arkansas. I’ve never been to Arkansas, so I wanted to check that off the list. I followed highway 1 south and took it through Greenville Mississippi to route 82 west. I finally crossed the Mississippi River for the first time in my life. It only took 30 years to make it happen. The plan was to came at a state park just across the border. Lucky for me I found a little place called Pecan Grove RV park and was able to pitch my tent for $20. This place had everything the state park had and then some, plus it was $10 less. Score! I pitched the tent before dark and headed to this little restaurant called the Lakefront Cafe to meet some more locals and wi-fi. I didn’t happen to meet any native Arkansasians (not sure if that’s correct), but I did hang out with the whole staff after closing for a while. They were all from Greenville Mississippi. I had a few beers and about three shots with them while we were hanging out, and at the end of the night my bill was only $5.75. (the chef was a bad influence) I asked the bartender if he knew how many drinks I had and he said don’t worry about it. I mosyed on over to my tent and fell asleep to a peaceful night in rural Arkansas.

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About mikekrabal

I'm a fella who finally let the inner traveler come out. A non-standard sort.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Day 37 Bad luck, good luck and Arkansas

  1. Oh man I’m glad you took the extra precaution to secure your bike. It would have been kind of tough to travel without it, lol

    Posted by igordmitry | November 21, 2011, 8:14 am
  2. A little background on Blue Levee… my nephew and his wife had been living in Colorado for a few years and decided at the grand age of 25 to come back home and open a restaurant. There had been a cafe there but it had been closed for a year or so. They opened in December of 2005 and after a slow start it became THE place to eat in the Delta…John always had amazing specials at night, fresh tuna, salmon, sushi…..if wi-fi surprised you then you would have really been surprised had you come in for dinner :).. It actually is really not a locals only place, well maybe for lunch, but they always had the place filled at night with people from all over the Delta…some still come several times a week …. many times when I would eat there ( which was quite often) I would not know a single table of people. Both of them had worked in restaurants for years and she had a huge collection of bottle caps…which were incorporated into the bar in the picture .. After almost 6 years and huge success they decided at 31 they did not like being so tied down( sounds familiar:?) and just sold Blue Levee to some local folks back in August, they are doing a great job so far …..We miss John and Andrea but are happy Blue Levee is still here…

    I hope you get to Houston for Thanksgiving… be safe and have fun 🙂

    Posted by Bobbie | November 21, 2011, 9:22 am
    • Thank you so much for filling me in. That is so neat. At my pace of travel its really hard to get to know a place. I really enjoyed eating there. I would definitely recommend it to anyone traveling through. Im glad to hear that the original owners are doing well also. Thanks again and take it easy.
      Mike

      Posted by mikekrabal | November 21, 2011, 10:09 am

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About Me

My name's Mike Krabal and I am from Jefferson County WV. I'm a thirty year old guy who still believes that you can be anything you want to be. I'm on a mission to find out exactly what that is.

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