Travelling the south states alone
Replies: 21 - Last Post: Aug 14, 2013 4:25 AM Last Post By: HarryJVick
Aug 11, 2013 2:41 PM
Travelling the south states aloneHi there,
I've been researching for quite a while now about taking a trip to the southern states of USA but at the moment its looking as if I could be going alone. The south as a whole is very large obviously so I would choose certain areas to target but at the moment I am particularly interested in travelling around Mississippi and doing a kind of Blues trail for 2-3 weeks (am at uni so would be doing it in Easter break if possible). There's so many other states as well as Mississippi that would link in perfectly with the Blues trail but as I say, I am thinking of condensing it to just MS (and possibly Memphis TN) for 2-3 weeks.
Nothing is booked and is probably very far from being booked as I'm still researching the idea and wanted to get some advice and pointers from people.
Firstly, is it a silly idea to try to fit all the blues and travelling the MS delta etc into 3 weeks?
And also, it looks as if I will probably be alone so I am very curious as to what this would be like? Obviously there is the issue from a personal level but what about getting around alone and safety etc. And would there be many other tourists doing a similar kind of thing?
Also, I would really appreciate places around MS that people recommend.
Aug 11, 2013 6:56 PM
Aug 11, 2013 7:00 PM
Aug 11, 2013 7:11 PM
3Harry, Welcome to ThornTree. I think your idea is great. I'm hoping you caught the recent PBS special on life along the Mississippi River as it would no doubt find it of interest. While I can't help a lot specifically with the Mississippi Blues
Trail, I can tell you the state also has a lot of historical interest in Natchez and Vicksburg (and the historical Natchez Trace trail between the two cities) along with William Faulkner's hometown of Oxford. I do think Memphis is a must-see for a Blue Trail tour, due to the city's role in that form of jazz and its proximity to Mississippi. I found drivng Mississippi some
yeasr back to be easy to do. You said "I will probably be alone so I am very curious as to what this would be like? Obviously, there is the issue from a personal level but what about getting around and safety," Perhaps you could elaborate a bit as to what your concerns are. I do think that you've come up with a great idea of keen interest to you. A
three-week journey through Mississippi's Blues Trail is not something I think a lot of people are making. I wouldn't
let that deter you. To paraphrase the saying: "Do it Now. For I may not pass this way again- Do it Now!"
Aug 12, 2013 2:59 AM
Aug 12, 2013 3:22 AM
5I really appreciate all of you're replies to my post - so thanks alot!
Thankyou for welcoming me! No I've not heard of that PBS special, I presume its a states thing? I'm from little old England - I will definitely look it up though. So far I've only really been looking at destinations and different Blues locations to visit, I need to look more in depth into how i'm going to get about.
My concerns for being alone are really based around the fact that it would be the first time I have ever done anything of this sort on my own. As I say i'm from the UK, Male aged 20 (will be 21 when I go) and am a sociable person and pretty confident. If there were lots of other people doing a similar thing then I don't think I would be as worried. It would make the whole thing a lot easier if there were other people to chat to. I guess I need to talk to people at this stage that have done the Mississippi thing/travelled alone.
Thats a great paraphrase, I'll remember that one!
Thanks again for responding so quickly everybody, every comment is very helpful!
Aug 12, 2013 5:35 AM
6They way to see America is via a car, period. Public transport is only decent near the eastern coast cities of Boston, Philly, NY, and Wash DC, and Chicago and San Fran. Otherwise, its basically hodge podge of bottom of the barrel busses and slow trains that are never on time, and usually dont stop in the areas of a major city you want to lodge in, or,can find decent and safe lodging. America was built on the premise of highways and personal vehicles, and still is today. Rural areas, such as the south, is even more desolate of transport options, and all the hotels are best near the main interstates, or in historic areas of a small city. You wont see much from a bus window.
May I suggest you save this trip for when you rent a car, which is best when you are over 25 years of age, and also can afford to travel america, which is about $100 day for a decent hotel, 3 meals and gasoline.
There are plenty of other areas of the world to go that is backpacker oriented, far cheaper, and lot more exotic, than the USA or the south. I would fly to Cancun, and enjoy the Yucatan, plenty of indigenous culture, mayan history, and better transport options, including all of Central America, 99% of visitors use the bus system. SE Asia as well.
What about Turkey or Morocco? You can get cheap flights from UK and they countries are far more rich in history and culture than anything in America, the south of the USA is the least visited area of the USA for residents, I have lived there too, no desire to go back.
Aug 12, 2013 8:44 AM
7A few comments that you should consider:
If it is your intention to visit the places that have Blues Trail markers, you're going to need a car.
Look at the map on the Blues Trail map. Are you planning to "visit" these places or are you running a solo sportscar rally? I say the answer to your question is "Yes."
Also, the "Mississippi Delta" is in Loisiana, not Mississippi. The "Blues Trail" is concentrtated in northwest Mississippi.
I'm sure you could find some fellow traveler with similar plans/dreams. In my never humble opinion, traveling with a complete stranger is a bad idea. Too many things can go wrong. You shouldn't have any more concerns with your personal safety than you would have anywhere else in the U. S. Be polite, be respectful, and LEAVE anyplace where you feel you are unwelcome.
Be aware that people below the age of 25 may have trouble renting a car. At the least, you will pay for more insurance at age 21.
Good luck to you.
Aug 12, 2013 8:49 AM
Check out Geoff Muldaur's song about his personal journey:
and the story behind it:
Aug 12, 2013 9:29 AM
After researching this trip it looks as if it is definitely a good idea to do it by car so I agree with you.
Also, you are getting confused with the Mississippi River Delta which yes you are correct, is in Louisiana but the Mississippi Delta region is in Mississippi.
Thankyou for the info though, as I say I am purely researching this idea at the moment so every comment is handy.
Thanks for the links, beautiful song and will enjoy reading that article about Blind Lemon.
Aug 12, 2013 10:11 AM
10I'm no music expert, but in general "the South" is a term we use to refer to the southeast, an area known for country music and once known for "Southern Rock."
The blues are more associated with the central region, basically a rough trail leading from New Orleans to Chicago with a stop at either Kansas City or St. Louis on the way.
Kanasas City used to have a HUGE rhythm and blues scene, but I don't know if that is true any more.
Southern Missouri is said to have a lot of great little nature spots, canoeing spots, state parks etc. I've never been there but my dad absolutely loved the place. He was a professional forester and loved little nature spots.
If ya really want to get your redneck on, before you enter Chicago, see the jumping carp of the Illinois
Yes I recommend a car (well, a boat for the carp part.)
Aug 12, 2013 10:16 AM
Aug 12, 2013 10:41 AM
Here's video of a couple of regular fellas" trying to bow-hunt them
The Attack of the Jumping Asian Carp - Reel Shot TV
Edited by: LongIslandBob
Aug 12, 2013 10:51 AM
13This could start a whole debate but really the true Blues comes from Mississippi - country blues, folk blues, delta blues. The Mississippi origins of the Blues is the part I'm really interested in. But yeah then there is Chicago, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans etc which all have different brands of music that came out of the Blues (in a way). Thats what fascinates me about the states with regards to music - all the many different locations etc.
Aug 12, 2013 11:34 AM
14Well I'm not gonna argue with ya, but I will suggest that you'll find there is not a whole lot of cultural or geographic separation between The Mississippi Delta areas of Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta areas of Louisiana.
Reportedly the food is better in Louisiana, plus you can go hunting nutria (locally known as swamp rats.)
But I'm not gonna tell ya what to do.
Enjoy your journey.
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