I am very excited to be leaving on Tuesday for the World's Longest Yard Sale, also known as the 127 Yard Sale www.127sale.com. If you haven't been (or heard about it) it runs from the Michigan/Ohio border, down to Gadsden Alabama along Highway 127. My sister and I have been going to the sale for many years. We shop all day for 4 days, buying treasures, junk and everything in between. If you are planning on attending and have never been, or think you might want to go next year, read on.
First of all, you can't shop the entire route. It's impossible. Between the winding roads, the traffic and the shopping, there just isn't time. Even if you are a fast shopper (and my sister and I are fast shoppers) you'll be lucky to make it 1/3 of the way. There are too many places to stop and too much traffic. This is one of the trips where you need patience. Much of the route is a rural one lane each way road. The cars ahead of you are going to slow and sometimes stop in the middle of the road. If you are impatient or in a hurry, you're not going to have a good time.
Next, have reservations at least 5 months in advance! It never fails to amuse me when car after car pulls into a hotel along Highway 127 to see if there is a vacancy. There isn't. The rooms are filled and have been booked for many months. Why would you travel to the World's Longest Yard Sale without reservations? The nearest room is at least 100 miles away from the highway. Figure out in advance the route you plan to travel and book a room in the middle. We shop north of the hotel the first day and south the second day. We then change hotels and do the same for the remaining two days. This way we aren't back tracking and are able to cover more territory.
When you see something you want....buy it! Please DO NOT ask my sister how many times I have stood and thought about something, didn't buy it and then 2 hours later I'm upset and/or obsessed about it. We have backtracked, more times than I care to say, so that I could buy something that I saw earlier in the day. Sometimes it's still there, sometimes it is not, sometimes we can't even find the spot again. My sister will then say...."Why didn't you buy it when we were there?" I don't know. If I'm looking at something too long, she will say, "If you don't buy it, you'll obsess about it later." Of course I then reply, "No I won't", but alas, I do.
If you are not from the south or midwest, remember that it is going to be hot, humid and stormy. Be prepared for the humidity but also be prepared for the thunderstorms. Several years ago, we were at the Cumberland General Store at their tent city, when it began to rain, then pour. Then came the lightning. We ran under someone's canopy tent and the wind picked up. It was only after there was a lightning strike very nearby, that I looked around and saw several people, including my sister, holding down the metal poles of the canopy, in an attempt to be "helpful". Holding something metal during a lightning storm is probably a bad idea. Luckily no one was hurt.
Remember to enjoy the people, the scenery and the hunt! If you are going, remember to be careful out there. If you aren't going this year, stop back by for an update from the road. I'll be blogging about our adventures and even unusual finds!