In this episode, Kim Mance, Robert Reid, and Courtney McGann take a ride on classic train The City of New Orleans down to Memphis, from there, the journey continues as a road trip down Blues Highway 61 into the Mississippi Delta before settling down in Amory, MS to attend an annual hobo gathering.
Courtney McGann is a newbie traveler seeking fun and stamps in her passport; follow @courtneyisneato on Twitter.
The City of New Orleans Train
This historic train route leaves Chicago each night bound for New Orleans. There are a limited number of sleeper cars, so booking ahead is advisable, and hanging out in the lounge car is highly recommended. See Amtrak for details about The City of New Orleans.
The Blues Highway 61 Roadtrip
Robert brought his trusty The Carolinas Georgia & the South Trips Lonely Planet guidebook along and it led us on a fantastic road trip through the Mississippi Delta. With its curbside BBQ stands and juke joints tucked in every corner, Clarksdale is a highlight. It calls itself the “Birthplace and World Capital of the Blues and location of the famous Crossroads intersection of Highway 61 and 49″ and we have no reason to argue.
The Hobo Gathering
When we heard about a small hobo gathering in rural Mississippi, I couldn’t believe my ears. Hobos? Now? “Yes, they still meet each year during Amory’s Railroad Festival“, said Michael Bontempi from travel site Briefcase to Backpack as we drank beer in New York City recently. Each year there is also a large National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa. But we wanted to attend the more intimate gathering, and well, who can resist rural Mississippi?
We stayed at the delightfully cozy The Old Place B&B on the outskirts of Amory, and made good use of its back porch.
Word to the wise when visiting Amory: It’s in a dry county. That means no booze will be available once you get there. Just saying.
Amtrak, Marc Magliari, and Charlie LeBlanc.
Stretch, Tuck, K-Bar, Queen Charlotte, Max,
Red Bird Express, and
Fran DeLorenzo the Hobo Minstrel.
Amory Regional Museum
Theresa & Jimmy Glenn
Bo Miller & the Amory Railroad Festival