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We got up to meet some other degenerates at Taqueria la Alteña, just off Broad Street south of downtown. SW was looking more than a little green but we were determined to get to the World's Longest Yard Sale, a 450-mile stretch of highways from Ohio to Alabama on which people converge to buy and sell junk. It was the excuse for our whole trip.
We got some food and headed north
to catch the Southern Tennessee leg of the sale. We stopped by the first
roadside group of folks, just three or four haphazard tents and tarps spread out
covered in junk. The selection wasn't much to speak of, though I did spot a box
full of 8-track tapes. I asked the little old lady how much they were before I
dug through them. "A dollar each, or I'll sell ya the whole box for $10."
Further up the road we found whole pastures full of tents and booths.
I didn't find much I wanted. Either the good stuff was already gone or the southern Tennessee leg doesn't attract the right kind of kitsch I was shopping for. On the other hand, if you could find something you wanted you could get a heck of a deal since the sale was drawing to a close. But here's a sampling of some of the funnier items I spotted:
We cruised past single-family yard sales in favor of the bigger gatherings. It just wasn't worth stopping for a driveway full of stuff when you could go a few hundred yards farther down the road and find whole pastures full of stuff.
People started packing up around 5 or 6, so we admitted defeat and headed back down the hill to Chattanooga. We changed for dinner and headed out for a night on the town.
We wandered around the corner in search of a bar and
stepped into Big Chill & Grill. The funky decor and room full of
comparatively well dressed men inspired SVA to ask our waitress, "Is this
a gay bar?"
Big Chill & Grill offers a couple dozen frozen drinks from a row of slushee machines a la Fat Tuesdays, as well as a long list of martinis to choose from. I couldn't figure out how they'd managed to keep my drink frozen with the alcohol content packed into the glass. One drink and I was buzzing already.
We chatted with the waitress for leads on other
bars. She rattled off a list and we found we'd been to every one she could
name, until she got to Lamar's.
We had a drink or two (we couldn't have taken much more, even with a designated driver) before stumbling out the door. We wanted to show our other friends the Stone Lion so we trekked back across town and settled in for a nightcap. I found the same folks there that had been there the night before and picked up on the drunken conversation thread we'd left off on as if I'd only stepped into the can for a moment.
But after a long day of yard sailing some of our party were ready to hit the sack. In the morning, a couple of the ladies didn't have the motivation to return to the yard sale so they headed back to civilization while SW and I headed for the Alabama leg of the journey. We hadn't brought a map of the route and had to do some wandering before we found where things picked up again (there's a large gap as it goes from Chattanooga over to NE Alabama), but eventually we got on track and found the southern end of the World's Longest Yard Sale to be pretty sparse. Maybe it was because it was the last half of the final day, or maybe it's because the backwaters of Alabama aren't as densely populated as the burbs of Chattanooga, but we drove for miles and miles between the few sales we could find. Eventually we had to give in and find our way back east toward Atlanta and home with only a few backs of loot to show for the journey.
But hey, any excuse to get out of town and find new dive bars!
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"These people could put us out of
All content on this site is owned by Degenerate Press and cannot be used without our permission. We have lawyers for friends with nothing better to do than cause trouble (no kidding), so play nice. Copyright © 2004, All Rights Reserved