Liz enjoying that Perfect Road Trip Food!
I thought I'd take time in some sweltering dog day summer heat and post my impressions of the "World's Longest Yard Sale". The two questions I've been asked since we got back are "was it worth it?" and "would you go back?"
For the record I'd like to say that Liz and I determined that we are nothing short of two old, ex-shop keepers, which means it takes a lot more to get us excited, than it did when we were younger and hadn't experienced the running of a retail business. It used to be the excitement ran high when we found the perfect piece to put in the shop, ready to be discovered by someone who would fall in love with the item as much as we had. New inventory is always exciting!
So that said, addressing the first question, "was it worth it". Yes. Because I have been envisioning this trip for seven years. Now I have experienced it first hand. "Would I go back"? No, I don't think I would. But, if I were in the market for cool old furniture that is still affordable I would most certainly take a trailer or a big truck and go again. If I were in the market for glass and china, I would go. I saw more glass and china items than I imagined existed! If I still had a shop or was decorating a home...Most Definitely.
We started our trip at exit 317 on I40 (about an hour west of Knoxville, TN) where it intersects 127. The crowds were heavy but nothing like we were expecting. The biggest slow down of traffic was right in the little town areas where groups of vendors congregated under their tents. Once through these areas traffic was minimal. In two days we only made it about 25 miles north of where we started.
We quickly determined that we didn't need to stop where only a one family yard sale was going on and to definitely avoid any sign that said "inside yard sale!". :-) And a spot where there was shade was preferable. I kept thinking, oh, wouldn't this be marvelous in the spring or fall!
A tub of old bobbins
Lovely bucolic scene
Because I loved the colors and little raggedy peeking over the table top.
An old general store
A piece I would have happily bought years ago for my shop!
Cool old building in a wonderful grove of trees
where we spent a good amount of time as there
were lots of vendors and shade! :-) I parted
with quite a few dinero in this spot!
Because I liked it
A few tips for anyone contemplating this trip. First, take a cooler and keep it full of ice and water at all times. The heat can be a killer. Make sure you pack sunscreen, sunglasses and an umbrella. We didn't get rained on but it was happening all around us the first day. Take good snacks. We seemed to eat a lot! Pack a couple pair of shoes so you can trade out when your feet get tired. And they will get tired believe me!
Don't be in a hurry. Always keep your eye out for the driver in front of you and people crossing the road in congested areas. When you have a chance to use a bathroom, use it! We lucked out and never had to use one of those port a potties. Take hand cleaner and hand wipes with you. Take a box or two to hold small items. If you're after furniture bring blankets to protect your investment. If you plan on buying glass of any kind bring some bubble wrap.
Don't carry a lot of big bills, the vendors will appreciate it. Everyone we met was friendly and courteous so return the favor.
Even if you don't find everything that was on your "list" enjoy just being with your friend or your family and take a small part of the south home with you.
Well I've rambled on long enough. Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of the goodies I managed to gladly carry home.