The annual Highway 127 Yard Sale spans 690 miles from Michigan to Alabama, and half of Nooga.com’s core team ventured out to find deals Thursday.
We found deals and much more, including a nearly lost childhood dream, an unexpected castle and a sombrero.
This year marks the 27th anniversary of the four-day yard sale, which continues through Sunday.
“The sale is very popular, and visitors from several foreign countries have attended,” according to the event’s website.
Picnic basket: $10
Yellow shoes: $5
Set of four drinking glasses: $10
Various plates/teacups: $8
Daisy picture: 25 cents
Lemon vase: $1
Yellow vase: $1
Other glassware: $8
Click here to read more about the sale.
We had intentions to start in North Georgia but didn’t find any yard sales in Dade County. So we continued on to Fort Payne, Alabama, and up onto a part of Lookout Mountain I had never seen.
Originally, the idea for this adventure was for me and Sean Phipps to each spend about $50 and then compare all the great deals we got.
As we set out, our copy editor, Ashley Hopkins-who is the queen of bargain shopping-decided to come along.
I don’t generally like shopping and I rarely go to yard sales, so my expectations for this outing were low.
I think I surprised everyone, including myself, when I immediately found something I wanted.
I mean, who doesn’t want a picnic basket? I reasoned to myself that I will either go on more picnics now that I’m well, well-equipped, or I will use it as storage or apartment decoration.
Soon after, Sean (maybe half-heartedly and humorously) bought a sombrero (with my 50 cents), and, just as we all really started sweating in the midday heat, we were off to the next spot.
Before I knew it, I was seeing yellow everywhere. Yellow is my favorite color, and I quickly felt drawn to an array of different plates, dishes and vases that were all different shades of yellow and gold.
And these were good buys for me because I don’t have a lot of dishes.
Quickly, I racked up about $42 worth of items, and we were starting to think about getting back when we came upon a sign that said, “sale in the castle.”
I don’t know how a group of journalists would ever pass up a sign like that, so we turned down a long gravel road.
The castle didn’t look as if construction was complete, and there was a pitiful moat around the outside. Inside, there was a man sitting next to a television that played a DVD that told the story of the castle.
I’m impatient and a reporter, so I just asked, “What is this place?”
The man told me to watch the DVD.
In the five minutes I stood there, all I got out of the DVD was that the people who built it traveled the world to look at other castles to get design ideas.
He was selling DVDs and pamphlets with the story of the castle, but I wasn’t going to pay for that information. (Click here or here to read what little I found online about the castle after a quick Google search. Twitter friends helped me find more, but deadline is approaching-so check back for a follow-up about this castle.)
Despite the lure of the castle, by the time I was discouraged with the video, Ashley had stumbled upon her great find of the day.
Last December, Ashley wrote a column listing five things she wanted for Christmas as a child of the ’90s.
One of those items was a Holiday Holidays Barbie, 1990 edition. And Thursday, she finally got one.
Inside that castle-which also had a “free table” of 20-year-old electronics and large dolls that surely would scare most children-Ashley found a little piece of childhood joy. She paid $5 for it.
From there, we weren’t going to stop anymore, but when I saw a globe, I nearly jumped out of the car.
– Sean Phipps (@SeanMPhipps) August 7, 2014
The globe cost $22, which I thought was a bit much. The friendly people who were selling it told me they had looked at prices online and that it was a fair deal. I only had $21, and they said that was close enough.
I am the opposite of a haggler. Just gave $5 for something that was $2. You get what you give away!?
– Chloé Morrison (@ChloeNooga) August 7, 2014
Earlier, I paid $5 for shoes that only cost $2, so I was happy I managed to at least sort of haggle.
With that, we drove home.
I call a day with friends that involves an unexpected castle, a childhood dream fulfilled and Sean Phipps wearing a sombrero a good one.
If you venture out there this weekend, think of it as an adventure, and who knows what treasures you will find?