Day 84: Mississippi

2015-08-30 13.05.29-1We entered Mississippi first thing in the morning. It was a gloriously sunny day. Almost as soon as we got in, we saw a burning field.
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Mississippi was so empty. Chris commented several times there that it felt the most empty of any state, even more remote than Wyoming in some ways. He had looked up some things to do since we had honestly been a bit bored in Arkansas in terms of it having almost no attractions and certainly none close to each other. We had a look at the town of Belzoni, which was meant to be the catfish capital of the world. This was a horrible mistake. It was badly run down and several of the places that sold catfish were closed because it was a Sunday. It had these little painted catfish:2015-08-30 14.41.04

I realize this picture isn’t very close or very good, but that will be explained below. There was a catfish museum, also closed Sundays. We popped by anyway because it was supposed to have a giant catfish statue. Have a look at what it’s been reduced to:

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It’s supposed to look like this:


Due to our next experience, I believe the locals just ripped it down and sold it for scrap or something to that effect. This is also why I don’t have a better picture of the cute catfish things above. Despite their depressing, crap catfish statue, we decided to try to eat some catfish. We went to the one open restaurant even though it had bars on the windows.The woman at the window said we could come eat inside if we wanted. We said yes and attempted this. I slipped on some disgusting oily water coming out of the building and since I was wearing flip flops, I scraped my middle toe and was bleeding quite badly. We scrambled to the car to get bandaids. As I was repacking the backpack after getting bandaged up, Chris noticed that the large group of big young men who had just been hanging around the gas station across the street were all surrounded us like a pack of wolves. He yelled for me to get back in the car and we drove off as fast as we could. I think they were going to mug us or something to that effect, which is just not something I was expecting from or paranoid about in small town America. Needless to say, we had a terrible time in Belzoni. We highly recommend against it. Eat catfish in Louisiana instead should you be in the region and inclined to try it.

We tried to give Jackson, their biggest city, a proper go despite this, but honestly, it was a bit hard. It wasn’t that great either and their capitol was even under construction, so it is also quite an unimpressive photo:

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We didn’t really see anything to do that was obvious in our state, so we carried on without speaking to anyone as we only saw about 4 people in the streets. We attempted to go to their petrified forest after that, but it turned out to be a long nature walk, and given the state of my foot, an hour walking in the woods wasn’t what I fancied, so we just took a photo at the welcome center:

2015-08-30 15.38.32Our motel in Hattiesburg was about as good as the rest of the day. Even though it got 4 stars on TripAdvisor, which usually means it’s pretty good, it was actually quite crap for the money. It smelled horribly chemically, was behind a truckers parking lot and had disgusting breakfast. I picked it because it was the only town vaguely on the way to Louisiana that had a 4 star review for a hotel in our price range. I think there might just not be a good hotel in our price range anywhere in the area. I recommend against staying there or anywhere near it. We also learned you cannot buy wine in the state of Mississippi on a Sunday. They seemed to categorize cider as beer though, so we were able to buy some of that.

I can say with absolute confidence that we will not be moving to Mississippi. I don’t even really want to drive through it again. Sorry, Mississippi, but you were the worst experience we’ve had in any state. There might be something amazing in it, but by the standards of a ‘first date’, there is just no possible second we could be interested in. Not for us.

Here’s the video:

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