America’s Yard Sale – August 13, 14, 15 & 16

We woke up early Thursday morning in the hotel so we could get a jump start on the continental breakfast. Soon we would meet with the reporter from the local newspaper in Upper Sandusky (the locals call the town “Upper”). When we heard a knock on our door, we knew it was her. We even asked her about the three-day, 241-mile yard sale stretching from the west border of Ohio to the east along the Lincoln Highway, cleverly named the Lincoln “Buy-Way”.


Ohio's statewide yard sale!

As soon as we crossed the interstate junction out of Upper, we noticed an increase in traffic, and cars parked all over the sides of the road! We were now in the Lincoln Buy-Way territory. There were some perks of walking through it: the roadside spectacle caused traffic to slow down, and we had something to look at besides corn! We even stopped to use a bathroom and get a hot snack for lunch. The drawback was some yards were so crowded with cars that they parked on the shoulder, and we had to go all the way around.


We've spotted our first one


The full monty

Midway through the day Tim got a call on his cell, it was the reporter. She said she forgot to grab a photo of us during our interview in the hotel room. Fortunately, after visiting a few yard sales ourselves, we were only five miles west of the hotel, so she was able to drive out in about ten minutes!

We felt a little like celebrities as the photographer followed us and took photos as we walked along the Lincoln Highway and passed yard sales with a lot of curious people. It was well worth it:


Our first front page!

At the eastern edge of the next town, Oceola, we saw many signs saying the road was closed ahead. We grew worried that we would have to reroute, and that may add a few miles to our day. As we got closer we saw barricades blocking cars from approaching the bridge – but luckily we’re on foot! We spike to the construction crew and asked them if we’d be allowed to cross on foot. They said “of course!”. They saw Rebecca’s “SF to NY” sign/cape on the back of her pack, so we shared our journey with them as they took a break.


Road "closed" - ha!

As we entered the next town not knowing how to pronounce it, for hours. (This is one of the little things that drives us a little crazy). We eventually met enough locals who told us the correct pronunciation of Bucyrus: BYOO-cyrus, like Miley Cyrus (according to Rebecca).


Even MORE yard sales

On the way out of town we passed a farmers market. Two vendors noticed Rebecca’s sign, and they were so impressed they gave us a box of peaches, two tomatoes, and two cucumbers (Thanks guys!).

A few miles later a couple driving stopped in the middle of the road. They asked if we were walking across Ohio for the three-day yard sale. They got excited when we told them we were in fact walking across the country. They drove down from Cleveland for the weekend of deals!


A small town street fest

As the day was winding down, we needed a place to stay. We had hit 25 miles for the day and had counted 49 solo yard sales, and 15 multi family ones. Today was unique, so we planned on asking a homeowner who was still outside if we could camp in their yard. We approached Sandra who graciously allowed us to camp in her backyard. We also met her son, who was celebrating a birthday the next day! We even helped her move some stuff into her garage for the night.


The sun was setting in Tim's eyes...


The yard sales continue...

The next day we walked through the city of Mansfield. It has a nice downtown, with lots of public space and tallish buildings. Mansfield is famous as a major filming location for the movie The Shawshank Redemption. There’s even a walking tour of the sites! We took our lunch break at one of the benches downtown, known as “Brooks’ Bench”.


Tim doing his best "Brooks"


(Though he's never actually seen Shawshank Redemption!)

By noon we’d counted 46 solo yard sales, and 6 multi family ones. As we made our way to the next town, to our host’s house in Ashland, we were stopped three times in the last two hours! The first was a nurse who drove to her house and back just to deliver cold water on this hot day. The second was a family of four on their way to vacation for the weekend in West Virginia. They had seen Sandra (who’s yard we camped in the previous night) post our blog on facebook, and had coincidentally drove by us walking! They also gave us some water, just as Tim ran out. Finally, down the street from our host, an older man reversed just to ask us about our sign, and if we had REALLY walked all the way from San Francisco. I don’t think he believed us, but he will after reading our blog (we gave him our business card).

Mike was a great host, and we enjoyed pepperoni-bacon pizza, and Rebecca was surprised by how good the BBQ chicken pizza was! The next day Mike texted to say he had won $50 on a scratch off ticket, and attributed it to letting us stay. Talk about a Karma payment plan!

We asked Mike and his roommate where in Ashland to get the best breakfast, and they suggested we try Lyn-Way, known for its pie. After a big breakfast, we were contemplating passing on the pie, but our waitress said “It’s state law”, so we went with the
Buckeye Pie.


We know a place where no cars go

The road that day was generally quiet, though a few horse & carriages passed by (still a lot quieter than a car!). Right before a hill we spotted two cyclists. Eric and Dan were young and ambitious cyclists raising money for a good cause. They were biking all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to Niagara Falls! Meeting them gave us a boost for the day, and I’m sure we put a pep in their step as well. Follow their journey here (I think they just finished this past week!):


An increasingly rare encounter


Keep the car running

To our dismay the land got gradually less flat. There were hills fir the first time in what felt like months! Not since the Rockies (well, Iowa is quite hilly too!).


Bye bye flat land


Where Is Everybody?

Today we were going to make it as close to Wadsworth as we could to stay with Tim’s fraternity brother, James. We knew we couldn’t quite walk the 40 miles, so we arranged with James to pick us up in West Salem.

Saturday night he grilled steak and veggies for us, and we rested with some Ohio beer. We took Sunday off and returned the favor by cooking dinner for him. His place was so relaxing we wish we could just move in!


Time to relax and cook

Today(s) we walked through:
Upper Sandusky
West Salem

Tim: 53,555; 64,055; 34,529 and N/A steps
Rebecca: 59,255; 69,383; 37,896 and N/A steps

2,671 miles finished

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2 Responses to America’s Yard Sale – August 13, 14, 15 & 16

  1. Kristine Loving says:

    What a fun time with all the yard sales. I love reading about your adventures. So what are your plans when you finish the trip? You must be getting close.


    • rebeccatim says:

      The yard sales were amazing, it makes me want to go back one year to actually shop!

      We don’t know what we’re doing after, but we should be in New York on the 9th of September, and touch the water on the 12th. We’re really hoping to blog about it that night, and live tweet it!


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