Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Historic National Road Yard Sale: New Paris Ohio to Cumberland Indiana

Preface: I have had to explain the nature of the "long garage sale" numerous times this week, so for the benefit of new readers and those yet to be enlightened, let me give you a quick idea of what the Historic National Road Yard Sale entails (I must also give a WARNING: here, as such yard sales are highly addictive). This particular sale follows US 40 and stretches from Baltimore, MD to St. Louis, MO. People that live along the route host garage sales, and vendors from all over the country set up in parking lots, or really just about anywhere, to peddle their goods. It's like a diverse neighborhood yard sale that goes along one road, through small town America, from dawn until dusk, for days... In my book, it's pretty close to heaven.

Dear Readers,
Today I woke up at 6am to head to western Ohio. I was so excited to see what highway 40 had for me that I didn't even need my morning coffee to get going. I had heard tell of a barn sale in New Paris, Ohio and decided that it would be a good starting point. I-70 runs parallel to US 40, so I took that to my starting point so I wouldn't have to backtrack and also so that I could head toward the deals at 70 miles an hour. Here is my route, with just a few of the stops I made listed.

The barn sale was fantastic, as they usually are. It was a great first sale and really set the tone for the rest of the journey. From there I made my way slowly back to Indianapolis, stopping on a dime for enticing sales and pulling all kinds of (possible illegal) u-turns. I was a bit limited on time, so I took the liberty to drive right on by sales that looked too sparse or too overrun with baby items.

Now my only other experience with these long yard sales is the 127 Corridor Sale, also known as the World's longest Yard Sale. Comparatively, the US 40 sale was not nearly as dense with sales as the 127. And probably for that very reason, crazy-garage-saler traffic was almost non-existent (this is a huge point in US 40's favor). I'm not sure how much that has to do with the fact that I was out on a wednesday. I did notice quite a few people setting up, presumably to open tomorrow, so I imagine it will be busier this weekend.

One of the couples I bought from told me that the sale was particularly slow this year, which they blamed on gas prices. I kept running in to the same gentleman at different sales who was also westbound, and he complained of not finding anything good at all this year... Which brings me to my own results, which were extraordinary. I was wheelin' and dealin' in the heartland, turning up bargains that could easily compete with my findings on the 127 corridor sale. Add to that the tragically beautiful fate of US 40 itself, once the greatest highway in Indiana which is now home to forgotten towns and derelict gas stations, and the Historic National Road Yard Sale was a grand slam.

I had such a great time that I'm going to wake up at 6am tomorrow to explore US 40 west of Indianapolis. The sale is through Sunday June 5th, so if you're in the area and have a free day and half a tank of gas then you should consider seeing what US 40 has in store for you. I'll be posting my favorite finds tomorrow if you need some motivation!

With love, laura
The Barn Sale that started my day off oh-so-right
Centerville, IN

The classic "sale in an abandoned gas station". This is probably my least favorite type of sale.
I had picked up this EXACT lunch box a few miles down the street for $2. I guess I got a pretty good deal.
This was by far the strangest and creepiest thing that I came across all day!
I pulled an insane u-turn to get to this church. It was worth it.

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