Wednesday, August 17, 2016


I have experienced Garage Sale Nirvana and it was glorious. For me and dozens of other bargain hunters, the past two weeks have been a dream come true…. played out along the highways and back roads of America.  It started with the Route 127 sale that stretched from Addison Michigan to Gadsden Alabama. That’s just shy of 700 miles. Dubbed the world’s LONGEST garage sale it lives up to it’s name.

 I got quite a haul of Christmas goodies and a leather bull spending just under $25 total. I was thrilled to be part of the traveling troupe of thrifters… who went on this scavenger hunt, to find the Holy Grail… and steal it on the cheap.

Vendors out and about were individuals, families, churches, stores, communities, schools, senior centers, etc. They came up with clever gimmicks to get you to buy. Incentives galore. There were GRAB BAGS of every denomination. Or you could fill a grocery sack stuffing it with everything you could. There were bins and boxes, where a multitude of things were just a quarter. Big ticket items were also out there. As were tables marked FREE, where everything on them was for the taking.

It was a FUN time, carnival like atmosphere… with like minded people of all ages… coming together… from all walks of life… with purpose... To SELL or to SHOP. The only downer was when we got to VAN WERT, OHIO. The local police there were killjoys threatening to ticket cars pulled over to attend the sales, including ours. Not the WELCOME the Van Wert Chamber of Commerce promised for this shindig. So much for trying to pour money into their local economy. We headed down the road and were pleasantly embraced somewhere else.

The following weekend the Lincoln Hwy/BUY-WAY Garage Sale activities commenced. The first few days were worry free. Stretching from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia. But a forecast of stormy weather on Saturday throughout parts of Indiana and Ohio threw a wrench in things.

However, the show went on as planned with torrential downpours, coming and going. Vendors scurried to save what was exposed to the elements, while others relaxed under tents, in barns and garages to continue the sale without letting Mother Nature ruin the fun… giving us all something to talk about, as we milled about. Running back and forth to the parked cars, caused the most aggravation for thrifters… because there was no way to avoid the raindrops falling, unless you happened to pick up a vintage umbrella.

(I looked like a drenched rat chasing deals)

To be totally honest, my finds along this route were more interesting than Rt. 127. And the most I paid for anything on Lincoln Hwy was $2. And it was for a Picasso Print that retails for over $200. 

Everything else including a Thomas Kincaid Lamp was only a quarter.

(I asked if the port-a-potty was for sale or to use?) 

Traveling down these highways looking for THRIFTY FINDS was a welcome change of pace from the norm. I am HAPPY I did it. And want to thank my hubby for navigating every step of the way. 

Next year, I am obligated to go back because… a little Christmas Tree I purchased was missing it’s base and the woman I bought it from declared she’d find it… and have it there waiting for me if I returned a year from now. And I believe she will. Just like I believe in Santa and re-purposing what someone else no longer wants. 

PS) Although I chastised the city of Van Wert, OHIO in my story above for the local cops causing problems where there were none. (because it is an issue the town needs to address before the next annual sale.)  I’d like to give a SHOUT OUT to their Senior Citizen Center. Kudos for their participation. Their FILL UP YOUR SHOPPING SACK for $1.00 was the most fun I’ve had in years. 


  1. Sounded fun! Never heard of such an event! Sounded like you yot great bargains too!


  2. I'd love to participate in something like that! Aside from Van West's killjoys, I believe one can find some of the nicest folks in the world on our nation's back-roads.

  3. That sounds like a lot of fun. Well except for the kill joys. Take care, Sheila

  4. What a wonderful journey. I would have loved to accompany you there. Too bad about the cops and the foul weather.

    A Picasso print for two dollars? Wow!