road trippin’ through the delta ~ part 2

If you missed part one, you can find it HERE.

I grew up in the Arkansas Delta, in Wynne, AR.  It was a small town, and after graduation, I was determined to leave town and discover new places.  Now I find that after I’ve moved away, visited other states and other countries, I wanted to go back home and re-discover the Delta I was so determined to leave all those years ago.   A week long road trip was something that some friends and I had discussed doing, and a few weeks ago, we finally made this happen.

Here’s the second part of my discovery of the Delta in photos. Day 2

Day 2 began in Helena, AR, home of the King Biscuit Blues Festival, which is actually just around the corner in October. Helena is much like many of the other Delta towns.  Once prospering towns slowly losing population and once wonderful downtowns crumbling.  Our morning started out with some ominous thunderstorms rolling in.  We were able to snap a few photos before taking shelter at Granny Dee’s for an amazing down home Southern breakfast.

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It had been FOREVER since I had seen a Buster Brown shoe sign.  967A9869-5 967A9890-6

 

This was the boardwalk down to the banks of the Mississippi River.  So green and lush from the morning rain.

967A9854-3Lakeview, AR

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Elaine, AR, a small delta farming town and site of one of the bloodiest racial conflicts in American History.  You can read more about it at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

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Here’s a picture of my friend, Mike who traveled with me on the first part of the trip.  We’ve been buddies for the past 20 or so years, and I think we make great road trippin’ partners.

967A9956-10 This swampy picture below is from our attempt to find the largest living thing in Arkansas.  We were on the hunt for the Grand Champion Cypress tree in the White River National Wildlife Refuge.  An actual photo of the tree (since we couldn’t find it) can be found HERE.  We took a wrong turn and ended up going miles in the wrong direction trying to find the tree.  But the drive was beautiful.  967A9960-11

We ended up at The Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, MS at the end the day’s journey.  That place is a unique place, staying in “modernized” sharecropper shacks.  We loved it so much, we decided to stay two nights.

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Day 2 ended up at a hole in the wall club called Red’s.  From the road, Red’s looks like it’s a boarded up and abandoned building, but don’t be fooled, it’s very much alive and thriving on the inside.  Red’s isn’t much to look at on the inside or outside, but everyone in there has a time to remember.  We happened to catch Red’s on a Tuesday night.  They’re only open Thursday-Saturday, I believe.  They had a Japanese harmonica player named Shimmy performing with some of the locals.  Many beers were consumed and many dances were had at Red’s that night.  Here is some photographic proof.

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