Tuesday, July 26, 2016

How to Plan Your Trip for the World's Longest Yard Sale


Did you know that we're only 8 days away from the official start of the 127 Yard Sale?  Unofficially?  You can start hunting this coming Sunday (4 days before) and you'll find some people already set up.  This is the time where the people in search of the truly unique items are hunting.

Anyways, so now that we're a lot closer to this sale, I've been getting a lot more questions.  There are a lot of first timers asking for more advice on planning their trip for the 127 sale.  I gave many great tips & tricks last year, but I'll try to expand on the planning portion.

Should I just skip this one?
So, my first tip was to start planning months in advance.  Well, if you're still deciding whether or not to go, my friend Pam over at House of Hawthornes wrote a piece on why you should stay home from the 127 sale.  But, don't worry - there's still time!  I believe you CAN plan for this sale in a week!

Where do I start?
So, you really need to lock down your route.  How many days are you going?  What states do you want to visit?  Do you want to start in Michigan or Alabama?  Do you want to start somewhere close to your home or farthest away?  This year I'm skipping Michigan and starting in Northern Ohio and going as far South as I can get in 4 days.

How far can I get each day?
How do I know where to book a hotel, campsite, etc?  Well, that comes with experience.  I've been doing all different types of yard sale routes for years and years now. Long before the days of this blog.  I've basically got it down to a science.  I usually tell beginners to plan to only be able to make about 50 miles.  Honestly, for the 127 sale, I think that's pushing it for a lot of people.  There are just so many sales.  If you're not stopping at every sale and only ones that appeal to a vintage lover you may be able to make it further.  


Are you a fast walker?  Will you carry enough bags with you, so you don't have to make multiple trips back to your car if you buy a lot at a stop?  Are you going to pull into people's driveways or park on the highway?  *NOTE: I do not recommend pulling into the driveway, if you can avoid it.  It's a time waster.  Manuevering in and out of the driveway around other people doing the same thing and trying to turn back onto the highway where there can be quite a bit of traffic, not to mention people.  It honestly takes me less time to park on the highway, walk up and walk back than driving into the driveway. *  Anyways, just think about all of this and how much time you want to spend yard sale-ing each day.

Where am I going to sleep?
Well, since you waited til the last minute (I'm assuming, since you're reading this)... you're shit out of luck.  Most of the hotels close to the 127 are booked up.  If they're not booked up, their rooms are quite costly.  Even for a shady hotel that usually rents by the hour.  So, where in the world are you going to sleep?  Well, my friend, I hope I can help.  


Do you drive an SUV or van like my Beast?  Sleep in it!  Find a rest stop or a Walmart (just be sure to check to make sure there's no signs that say "no overnight parking").  Are you willing to give up a tiny bit of space?  Try packing a tent, like I did last year, and camp out.  There are so many campgrounds right along 127.  The prices to camp, I've found, range from about $15-30 per night.  The more expensive rates are electric sites, which I like, so I can run a fan and charge my phone.  In fact, one of the campsites I booked this year also has cable tv hook up at each site.  



Plus side of campsites?  You can shower all the yard sale dirt off of you.  Along the lines of campsites, quite a few of them also have cabins with either bunk beds or cots, so all you need is some bedding.  This small primitive cabins can set you back around $40-60 per night.  Honestly, though, it's still cheaper than the shady hotels.  



Is money no object?  Just go stay in a 4 star hotel, quaint B&B, or rent a luxury cabin/condo for the week.  But, how can you beat the view of stepping out of your dewy tent to this sunrise over the lake?

Where is THE BEST junk?
I have had lots of people asking me about where to go.  Look, I've honestly only ever done the Michigan and Ohio portion and takes me a little over 2 days.  Michigan is not at all that it's cracked up to be.  I think since it was the last part to be added to the route, people are still catching on.  Give it a few more years.  If you think I'm wrong, awesome!  I hope you find great stuff in Michigan! More junk for everyone, I say!

So, if you're looking on advice for Ohio, here's what I've got: Start just north of Cincinnati and stop in Bryan (or vise versa).  There are a million and one places to stop.  Here are the great places I can remember (just off the top of my head) from last year...

1. Greenville, Ohio: Darke County Steam Threshers Association  - kind of a mix between fair grounds and camp grounds.  Probably 50ish vendors and lots of carnival food.  Lots and lots of parking.  Easy to get in and out of.


2. Celina, Ohio: North side of Grand Lake St. Mary's in Mercelina Park - 30 or so vendors plus Amish fried pies!  Hit this place in the morning before it gets busy and get the freshest pies.  Mostly street parking along the lake shore.

3. Van Wert, Ohio: Van Wert County Fairgrounds - 100 or so vendors and carnival food.  This place was very busy.  Plenty of parking, but you'll have to walk.


4. Bryan, Ohio: The Big One.  Minimal parking.  Very busy (but photogenic!) place.


What do I pack?  How do I look for the best sales?  
I gave my best advice last year in my 127 tips & tricks!

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7 comments:

  1. I'm pinning this! It's hard to believe 690 miles covers that many states!

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  2. You are awesome, girlfriend! Happy trails, and let us see it all when you get back. 50 miles would be like around the world for us...how about 5 blocks?? Bahahaha....

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  3. Hope you find the best stuff this year. Stay cool & have fun with the journey!

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  4. Mr. G and I have actually done the entire 127 yard sale. Of course it took a few years. We had done all of Ky several times as that is where we live. Then one year we started at the TN line and went to the end in AL which was a beautiful scenic trip. Then had a sideline trip to New Orleans. The next year we did Ohio to the end in MI. We've also done all of 400 mile hwy 68 in Kentucky & last year we did all of Hwy 25 in KY and TN including 25 E & W. We love those kinds of adventures. https://joysjotsshots.blogspot.com/2012/08/yard-saleing-down-hwy-127.html

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  5. Good luck! I know you'll find lots of treasure and I can't wait to see them! Try to hit Mainstrasse Village in Covington if you can. They have their flea market the first weekend of the month during warm months. I've been and it's pretty good. I think they have more vendors than normal for the 127. Also the Eagles Lake Expo Center in Lawrenceburg (which is where I'm planning to go) looks really good--400 vendors!!!

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  6. I would so love to do something like this some day. I discovered there's a smaller one near the Finger Lakes about 4 hours away in July. If I had a bucket list, that would be on it :) Great tips Melissa--happy hunting and have a great time!

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  7. I've always thought it would be fun to go to the sale.

    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

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