With my mouth still on fire from visiting the Tabasco Sauce Factory, we headed off to the Natchez State Park where we were camping for the night. This involved crossing the state line into Mississippi, our 43rd state.

mississippi state welcome sign - 50 states in 6 months

We got to the park quite late and it was starting to get dark. We drove around looking for the best spot and managed to set up the tent before sunset. We were all on our own with no one within viewing distance. I said to Stef that anything could happen to us and no one would know. People back home didn’t even know where we were as the blog was running a week behind. We watch way too many horror films and I could see Stef’s little mind working. She changed the conversation very quickly.

The next morning we were greeted with cobwebs and big scary spiders just outside our tent. It’s a good thing I saw them AFTER I’d slept – the tent is bug-proof but if they are hungry and can smell blood; they’d find a way in!

With the tent all packed up, we headed to Leland, Mississippi. Hardly any of you will know of the place, however, it is the birthplace of someone that EVERYBODY grew up with. I’ll give you a clue. His fingers smell of pork and he’s green. That’s right – KERMIT THE FROG!!!

stop sign - Natchez State Park - Natchez - Mississippi

Along the way we saw some sights that hadn’t graced our eyes before. There were fields as far as the eyes could see and they were filled with cotton. It was like it had been snowing. It was a confusing sight to see the “snow” on the ground and the sun shining away! It wasn’t just in the fields. It was blowing all over the road. I pulled over and Stef grabbed some. It was so soft and the first time I’d encountered fresh cotton. It was exactly the same as cotton balls you’d find in the shops…but free. We also checked off another road kill animal. Armadillos! We’ve yet to see them alive so the ones “taking a rest” by the side of the road will have to do for now. Weird little armoured creatures.

We reached Leland and just off the highway, there was the smallest of buildings. The Kermit museum was slightly off route to the next hotel, however, it just had to be seen. We walked through the door and were greeted by a lovely lady called Cecilia. She gave us a personal tour, telling us the story of Jim Henson. He was born in Leland. See, Kermit wasn’t really born here. He was just created here by a young Henson. I later found out that Kermit is not even a real frog!

Kermit the Frog Museum - Leyland - Mississippi

But the stories she told were interesting and we learnt a lot of things, such as the frog was named after his childhood friend, Kermit. The two kids were separated when young and lost touch. The human Kermit became a teacher and didn’t realise the link until his students told him many years later! I have never come across anyone called Kermit.

Although the place was small, it housed so many Kermit and Jim Henson artefacts. In the room to the side there were cupboards filled with Henson memorabilia. Some had been collected by the museum but a large majority had been supplied by fans. Even a little kid sent in his Kermit “I can go Potty” book after visiting the museum. So if you have any Kermit stuff lying around doing nothing – send it to them!

We span the car around and found one of the most amazing things this trip. Well for me it was anyway. It was the cheapest gas/petrol we’d encountered this whole trip. $2.59 a gallon at the nearby Double Quick! That works out to 42p per litre (quart) for the English folk! It was so impressive I had to take a photo of the sign! The most expensive gas we’d found was in Hawaii at $4.46 a gallon. It’s a very small island miles away from the mainland, but at 72p a litre, it’s still about half the price as in the UK!

To celebrate filling the car up for only $42 (£26), I bought myself a small 64oz fizzy drink.