Y’all remember the old 1970s Three Dog Night hit, “Out in the Country”? No?
Find it and give it a listen.
The song is a whimsical homage to needing space when life starts closing in. Sometimes you just need to get away. Take the road less traveled. All roads lead to somewhere. That kind of thing.
And the place to do that is The Lodge in Moselle, a get-away with safari-like tents and cottages equipped with all the comforts of home.
With theme music firmly in your head, pack a few essentials, get in your vehicle and, if leaving the Jackson metro area, hit U.S. 49 South. Keep going until you get to Collins and hook a left on Mississippi 588.
Enjoy the pastoral beauty of the boonies. Moo at cows and grin at your own silliness. Breathe.
Mississippi 588 becomes Moselle-Seminary Road, which becomes Mississippi 11 South. You’ll take a few more rights and a handful of lefts on a two-lane blacktop, but keep going. Trust your GPS. You lose cellphone service, but so what, that’s kind of the point.
That last turn really does put you on S w P A Road in Moselle.
You have arrived.
There’s a cute little signpost welcoming you to The Lodge at Sweetwater Studios.
Owner and operator Airon Whitt will motor out on her golf cart to greet you. It’s quite possible her two dogs Diego and Dora will greet you, too. They’re good ambassadors for where you’ll be kicking back. Both were strays and decided to stay. Don’t be surprised if the same ideas whisper to you.
Once you’ve stretched your legs and loosen up from the drive, have a listen.
Do you hear it?
That’s right. No traffic. No cellphones or televisions.
Take a deep, deep breath. Soak in the peacefulness of rustic overload — birds chirping, tree leaves rustling from a soft breeze wafting through the surrounding woods of the 26-acre property.
You’ll notice Airon waiting patiently while you soak it all in, smiling at you and the “knowing” you’ve just acquired.
“My parents are artists who traveled, honed their crafts and helped out in the communities where we lived when I was a kid. I can remember us staying in these huge tents that I thought were so cool. I told myself, I’ll have tents just like that one day. That’s the beauty of the internet. I found the exact same tents and here they are,” Whitt said, as she tidied up the sleeping area in one of the tents.
“I worked in the tourism and travel industry, in hotels and restaurants for over 15 years. I learned so much, and I discovered just how much I loved it,” Whitt said, as she vented the huge 31-foot, domed yoga tent. “That planted a few seeds, you know. I knew I wanted to live my dream of owning my own get-a-way space, hotel, something like that someday.”
“I had one of the best jobs ever… spending summers traveling the world with teenagers to places like Panama, Guatemala, Thailand, Ghana, Cambodia and Morocco. Then COVID hit. I found myself wondering just what I was going to do. It forced me to move back here. But out of that nightmare, my dream took shape. The Lodge at Sweetwater Studios was born,” Whitt said with admiration.
Yes, for the glammer-camper in you, there are private bathrooms, hot water, rainfall showers and heated blankets. Other amenities include bathrobes, beds with memory foam mattresses, heat, air conditioning, coffee makers and wine glasses. Contemplate life out on the deck and enjoy the firepit, sunrises or sunsets, your choice.
There’s a 3-acre lake and pedal boats. Work out your kinks in the 31-foot yoga tent. An art studio is available for instructor workshops. Birdwatch while hiking the nature trails in the surrounding woods.
Whitt’s father built a 5,250-foot croquet lawn, as well as a greenhouse filled with tropical plants, many grown from Airon’s unique finds from the places she visited. There’s also an 8-foot deep pool, a spa and sauna.
Whitt invites one and all to come as a group or come alone to take a load off. Relax, meditate, explore… oh, and play croquet.
Help us feature businesses in Mississippi owned by women:
View photo galleries of businesses owned by women and people of color.