My dad grew up playing baseball. Back in the early 70’s, he played in the Connie Mack World Series, in none other than, Farmington, NM. We had mentioned this to our friends and ironically, the tournament was set to begin this exact afternoon, and continue throughout the week. The even more ironic part, the East Cobb Yankees, the same team my dad had played for, had their first game this particular evening. Although we couldn’t stay to watch, I had promised my dad we would go take pictures of the field to see if it was how he remembered.
We had a later start than we had anticipated that morning because we were so exhausted from our day before. However, I was not about to leave Farmington without pictures for the pops!
Since the games were about to begin, the fields were being prepped and cleaned when we arrived. Just our luck – the work crew gave us the okay to walk onto the field, which was a nice surprise considering the efforts they take to keep these fields pristine! This one’s for dad. Enjoy!
After snapping a few pictures, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at a fabulous breakfast/lunch spot with Kyle and Bryce (wish I could remember the name of that place. I’ll add it here once I remember.) The inside felt a little cafeteria-ish but the food was so delicious. The hubby had an amazing breakfast burrito with a green chile sauce, while I opted for the scrambled eggs (I had them add chorizo to the eggs) and hashbrowns. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
We said our thank you’s and good-bye’s and were on our way. The hubby was a trooper and drove 10 long hours, headed east into Texas, then Oklahoma. As you may have heard or know from personal experience, once you leave the west, the rest is pretty dull, especially, no offense Texas, but there isn’t much to see once you pass the state border. Along the way, I had this nagging feeling, causing me to second guess myself. I kept thinking, “am I making the right decision heading to the much advertised ‘World’s Longest Yard Sale’ instead of staying here in New Mexico for an extra day, where Kyle’s parents had just told us of the treasures they find literally down the street?” The hubby came to my rescue, reassuring me that “either way, at least you’ll know for the future and won’t regret not having experienced it.” He was right, I think. (And yes to all of you reading this, this is overt foreshadowing.)
We ate dinner when we arrived in Arkansas, at which point we switched and I drove for the next 6 or so hours, putting us just east of Little Rock. We stopped for the night, paid for a room and slept oh so well. All-in-all, we drove about 16 hours but were on the road for about 18. It was definitely a long, LONG, tiring day.
Refreshed and ready to go, we set out Saturday morning with full intensions of making it Gadsden, AL (the beginning point of the 127 Sale), with possibly an hour or so of shopping time before the sellers closed up shop for the evening.
Little Rock to Mississippi, Mississippi to Alabama. We were making decent time. We arrived just outside of Gadsden and I just so happened to be googling the sale for reviews on where to start, when I came across a website that said the exit that would normally dump us right at the starting point, was closed due to road work, and gave alternate directions. Hello?! Why wasn’t this information on the official 127 Sale website?!? This is what they’ve been working towards for the last 8 months, counting down along with the rest of us and yet, they couldn’t even provide important road closing information? Red flag #1.
Luckily the unofficial website told us of the road closings, however, their alternate directions proved to be no good when we found ourselves taking an unwanted tour of downtown Gadsden. We were already pushing our luck on time so by this point, we were more than ready to be there! After several U-turns, we finally stopped and asked for directions. The woman at the counter did not look too pleased that we were visiting her town. (FYI – we sensed this same attitude just about everywhere we stopped by the way.) Red flag #2. Once we finally found our way, most vendors were packing up for the day, although there were a few still waiting around for that last sale of the day.
Some old advertising signs caught our eye so we stopped to chat with the vendor. His prices were a little more than half of retail value, which I found to be too expensive for “yard sale” prices. We got to talking and he said something that we found VERY interesting. He mentioned that he had bought a few signs from vendors down the street on Thursday. For those of you out there reading this review, let’s get this straight, so Mr. Sign seller, you buy signs from someone else, before the sale begins, only to resell them for more money? I would call that Red flag #3.
We checked out a couple of other vendors before the days end and found that all of the prices were higher than we expected. I was definitely beginning to feel a little uneasy.
We checked into a hotel, then decided to treat ourselves to a very unhealthy but good breakfast dinner at the local Cracker Barrel before retiring for the night.
Although still feeling a little apprehensive from the previous day’s findings, I was also hopeful and excited that today was a new day and figured we may have better luck. I also couldn’t help but think, today is Sunday, the final day of the sale, which usually means, prices are at their lowest. It could also mean everything had been picked over. Fortunately for us though, because we were coming in with a fresh set of eyes, we wouldn’t know what we were missing.
I wanted to have an early start so I made sure we were up and moving by 6 am. After a quick continental breakfast, we were out the door.
I was able to find a few items from my original list. Here it is again. Notice I was only able to check off 4 items! Not good odds, huh?
Here are those items:
cool glass bottles -
furniture for repurposing -
a piece to repurpose into an industrial light fixture -
I was fortunate enough to find a few other things, not on my list, that I found interesting and neat so I bought these as well. I haven’t yet decided if I want to keep these for my own collection, or sell them online.
kitchen items -
vintage decor -
Can’t wait to use these in my vintage baby room one day -
My most favorite find of all, this Japanese folding stool. Even in standing position, it only measures 4.5″ tall.
Even with my finds however, I was very disappointed not only with the selection, the prices, the vendors and the attitudes but the sale in general. I found the prices to be just under, if not retail value. This is advertised as a “YARD SALE” people! It’s not a flea market or an antique shop! The selection was mostly limited to tons and tons of clothing, junk and overpriced antiques or knick-knacks. The sale, just so you understand, is comprised of vendors that come from all over to set up shop in someone’s front yard. Some locals seemed to have slightly better prices, however, majority I decided, had seen their neighbor vendor sell items at obscene prices, and therefore, thought it necessary to jack up their prices in order to compete. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle.
Just to give you some examples, I found an old tin lunch pale that a local man was asking $70 for, a large Coka-Cola sign for $375, an old quilt for $50, and a Coka-Cola outdoor standing ice chest (in bad condition) for $275. Seriously??
Let me remind you, the definition of a YARD SALE from Wikipedia: “an informal, irregularly scheduled event for the sale of used goods by private individuals. Typically the goods are UNWANTED ITEMS from the household with the HOME OWNERS conducting the sale. Bargaining, also known as HAGGLING, on prices IS ROUTINE.”
I know what you must be thinking, we did only see in and around the Gadsden, Alabama area. However, think about this, as rural as Gadsden is, how in the world would you expect to find better prices in the more urbanized areas? They may have better selection but you better believe you’ll be paying top dollar for their items.
My overall observations and conclusion of the 127 Sale, aka, “The World’s Longest Yard Sale:” totally and completely not worth it. I guess on one hand I’m glad I did it so I know never to do it again, however, I find myself in disgust with HGTV for propping it up so much. And I’m one of their biggest fans! Not only is the sale not worth all of the hype, but because it’s been so over advertised, the prices have sky rocketed and everyone, I mean EVERYONE is in it to make a profit.
To me, it has become more of a festival or a carnival, NOT a yard sale.
I honestly don’t even know if it’s worth it as a true bargain shopper, not looking to resell the goods. Again, you have to search high and low just to find a BARGAIN.
Speaking of bargain, let’s recap for a moment, after gas to get to and from, sleeping accommodations each night, food for the trip, not to mention any extras like sight seeing, etc., is it really worth it for the CHANCE of saving a little on yard sale finds? My opinion, a big fat NO! I would much rather visit yard sales in my own backyard. Not only would I save on travel expenses, but I’m 100% sure I would find better “junk” at actual “yard sale” prices.
Long story short, I should have listened to my gut. We would have been better off staying in New Mexico for the extra day. The hubby could have played a bit longer, while I shopped the local yard sales. Oh well. Lesson learned!
On that note, I’m out! I promise to post something a little more positive and upbeat next time. ;)
Enjoy until then,