The World’s Longest Yard Sale starts today! – Also known as the 127 Corridor Sale, spans 690 miles between Michigan and Alabama. Each year in August, thousands flock to this exciting heartland where hundreds of yard sales line Highway 127 in each state.
We’re excited to introduce Delilah Snell who has shared a little bit of her experiences with us from the past few years of traveling the 127 Corridor and stopping at as many Yard Sales as possible.
Can you tell us a little about your background, what you do for a living, what you do for fun and your first trip to the 127 sale?
“I have a shop in Santa Ana called The Road Less Traveled for the past 6 years-we sell eco/handmade/fairtrade/natural home goods & gift and we have workshops on homesteading/DIY lifestyle. I also have a small preserves line called Backyard in a Jar and teach workshops on food preservation across the state (I have been a Master Food Preserver for over 3 years). I also have a company with my niece where we produce large indie craft festivals called Patchwork Show and an annual DIY/Indie Business conference called Craftcation. I had always wanted to do 127 so 4 years ago a flew to Alabama with my mom and we rented a car and drove 127 from the start (Gadsden) to near Lexington, and ever since I have been hooked (and a little more realistic about the trip-we drive out there now so we can buy more)!”
What brings you back to the 127 sale each year?
“I love the treasure hunting aspect of the sale, the excitement of not knowing what you are going to find on each stop…maybe its nothing, maybe it’s a stagecoach, maybe it is Civil War era glass…who knows! The people all along 127 are all super nice (although they are always so shocked when i say i am from California), for sure get to talking-you will find out about the area, tips and where to go.”
Which states with sales have you visited? What have been your favorites so far?
“I have been to Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky…all 3 states are incredible but each a little different. This year we are starting in Franfort, KY to Chattanooga, TN. Alabama is great if you just want to get the good stuff… lots of great finds and not as much picking. I think Tennessee has the best of both worlds: some cheap finds, junk and some antiques. We really like Kentucky though, lots of really good deals!”
What types of items have you purchased at the sale in the past? Do you have any photos you can share?
“OMG I have a ton of photos! I blog everyday on the trip and take pictures of items that I buy/think are funny. The 127 sale is filled with all sorts of funky signs and i do a sign roundup at the end of the trip with all my favorites.”
“As far as what I buy, I look for all sorts of things. I collect old kitchen items, canning gear, small furniture and funky home decor to resell in my shop. I look for old prints, fabric, cast iron pans, Descoware pots/pans and lighting for my house (my style is what i call Industrial Folk-Sale). Last year I started doing personal shopping for people that don’t have the time to drive out or if they did have the time, do not want to spend it picking in severe heat and humidity. This year I am shopping for decor for friends artisan ice cream shop, cake platters for a wedding, a few people who want a similar item that I have in my home and/or shop and fabric/trim for a person who has a craft business.”
Do you recommend any particular places to stay (maybe there’s a good B&B in a town you enjoyed)?
“I have a few places to recommend but above all I recommend booking your rooms 3-4 months in advance. DO NOT wait until the last minute, there will be now way you can stay on 127 if you do it last minute and camping is NOT an option (it is super hot and humid-nasty)! If you go to Frankort you MUST start your day off with a killer breakfast from Rick’s White Light Diner, Rick is incredible (super funny) and the food is tops! While you are in Northern KY, take advantage of being in Bourbon country and get yourself to a distillery! I love the Woodford Reserve tour-beautiful area. The Jourdan Hotel in Jamestown has the nicest owner (they might have sold by now) and the hotel is across from the only winery in the area.”
If you had to sum up your 127 sale experiences in a sentence to encourage others to check it out, what would you say?
“Tips oh yes! I learn something new every year…but if you are thinking about doing this trip here are some tips:
1. Focus on 200 or so miles of the trip, you will not make the whole 700 miles so just focus on a specific region
2. Book that hotel room early (especially in the smaller towns)
3. Don’t drive at night-it is really dark and i have seen a few head-ons…get to where you need to be by 5/6PM.
4. Don’t spend $ on things you have at home. bring your flip-flops, sunscreen, babywipes (you get dirty-good for hands/feet)
5. Set aside $50-100 for that one thing you were not expecting…believe me you will find something!
6. Go with the right people: If they literally can’t take the heat or they are likely to complain about another booth of Pyrex…they are probably not the best travel companions…you want people who like to junk it and they realize a good clean shower is at the end of the day -it’s the price you pay when you are treasure hunting!
I have more on my blog: http://www.projectsmallblog.com
Check out my other sites!
Backyard in a Jar http://www.backyardinajar.com -So Cal preserves
Road Less Traveled http://www.roadlesstraveledstore.com -eco store
Patchwork Show http://www.patchworkshow.com -festival
Craftcation http://www.craftcationconference.com – conference