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Ruston, Louisiana to Clarksdale, Mississippi

On Tuesday and Wednesday we drove from Ruston, Louisiana to Clarksdale, Mississippi. It wasn’t a particularly exciting drive, but we took very rural backroads and got to see a lot of the farmland and country areas of Louisiana, Arkansas and western Mississippi. We had made reservations early in the day at The Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and it was something we were definitely looking forward to. Clarksdale is a town rooted in the history of blues music. And while it was clearly working on a resurgence, it appeared that there was a long way to go to get the town back to it’s original glory. But everyone was super friendly, and we really enjoyed the Christmas Parade that started just as we finished our dinner that night.

But I’ve got too many photos to show you to do a post on three days in one post or you’d all be sleeping by the end. Here is a summary of Tuesday’s drive from Ruston, LA to Clarksdale, MS.

We saw a lot of these. Small factory farms and empty fields. Or just empty fields with falling-down barns. There was a lot of that, too.

At one point the stupid GPS had us get off the rural back road we were on and popped us onto this Levee Road. It was dirt, but you could still drive fast and it was pretty, driving along the Mississippi River. We came along this herd of horses heading home for dinner, which was pretty amusing.

We stopped in Arkansas to visit some Indian Mounds, which were constructed by deliberately heaping soil, rock, or other materials (such as ash, shell, and the remains of burned buildings) onto natural land surfaces. They are estimated to be 3500 years old.

And apparently in Mississippi it is acceptable to have an enormous airplane in your backyard. Is it their guest house? Man cave? I mean this was, huge — like 727 huge.

We almost didn't make it to The shack Up Inn. There were two ways to get there, and this was the back road in. As soon as I pulled off the main road I knew we were in trouble. It took me 15 minutes to rock my way out of that mud and get back on the road, and needless to say our car was then covered in it.

Unfortunately after finally getting un-stuck from the mud, we arrived at The Shack Up Inn just as the sun was setting.

This is the main section of The Shack Up Inn, which are rooms in an old converted cotton gins, and the rooms are in the old cotton bins. We didn't get to see them.

The decorating scheme at The Shack Up Inn isn't for everyone, but we absolutely loved it.

All of the cabins at The Shack Up Inn are old sharecropper houses. We stayed in The Legends Shack that had two separate rooms with a kitchen and is one of the largest shacks.

My bedroom had a couch and a chair. There was a TV, but it only gets the blues music station. If you want regular TV, you'll have to stay somewhere else.

The kitchen had a fridge, sink, microwave, coffeepot and table.

My sister's bedroom. We both agreed that staying there felt like going to sleep at a good friend's house; very comfortable and cozy.

Clarksdale had a very enthusiastic Christmas parade with a marching band that could really dance.

And the band leader had so much enthusiasm and was dancing so joyously it was infectious.

They pull their floats with tractors!

I think these ladies had a card game going on the kitchen table set up on their float, but they loved having their picture taken!

And Santa was there too!

What we didn't anticipate was waking up to 2" of snow on the ground! I thought it was supposed to be warm in the South!!!

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