Clarksdale is located in the Mississippi Delta, an hour and forty minutes south of Memphis, Tennessee. It's historically significant in the development of blues music, and Highway 61, or the "Blues Highway" runs through Clarksdale. It's at the crossroads of Highways 61 and 49 in Clarksdale that Robert Johnson allegedly sold his soul to the devil for the ability to play guitar.
Clarksdale is also home to the Delta Blues Museum (housed in the old Illinois Central Railroad passenger depot) as well as several blues and juke joint festivals. Three Mississippi Blues Trail markers are located in Clarksdale, and the museum now houses the remains of the Stovall Farms cabin where Muddy Waters lived during his days as a sharecropper.
We were a little too early in the day to see the devil, but we did have some delicious bar-b-q at Abe's, serving genuine pit bar-b-q in Clarksdale since 1924. I decided in Memphis that I was done with trying to like any meat-on-bone, so I opted for the pulled pork sandwich. According to Abe's, "it’s very possible that Robert Johnson, while sitting on a Coca-Cola case under one of the sycamore trees that was prominent at that corner back then, eating an Abe’s Bar-B-Q made that legendary deal."
The crossroads is, in fact, right next to Abe's, marked by a sign in the middle of a tiny triangle of grass. As is common with legends (and Robert Johnson in particular), there are multiple locations that claim to be the site of Johnson's notorious deal, but only the Clarksdale location has an indisputably rich blues history and a sign. My dad is already a mean guitar player, so he joked that if we saw the devil he was going to convince him to sell his soul to him.