Friday Sept 23, 2016 FIRST DAY OF THE JUNK JAUNT

Jim and I left the RV park and headed out to start our day. We started out at garage sales that were miles apart. That was discouraging but as we headed north, we started entering towns that had multiple sales. I really didn’t buy much today. Most of the sales include rusty farm stuff – not my thing. One lady told me that she had sold a bunch of these things that go between the parts on a “disker”. She said they are shaped like a barbell. She sold so many of them that her husband was busy taking apart another “disker” so they could sell more of them! She had no idea what people were doing with them and neither do I. Doesn’t sound like the Pinterest pages I look at!

Almost every sale has old straight back chairs that need recovered or need a new seat. If you knew how to do this, you would find an endless supply here.

I have sold some Popeye, Mickey Mouse and Snoopy fabric on Ebay lately. So I have been checking out the fabric at these sales. Found some Cat In The Hat fabric. Kind of seemed odd to me that it was at the home of a Mennonite family. It just didn’t seem like the kind of fabric that they would use!

We did stop at a Lutheran church today that was having a yard sale plus they had sold spaces to other vendors. They were selling pulled pork and brisket sandwiches. We had packed our own lunch but decided to try out the pies they were selling. We both chose cherry. OMG it was sooooo good! I wish I had taken pictures of this site as it was my favorite of the day. The man working the rummage sale portion was funny and was practically giving the stuff away! Another thing to note here was how many people from the church were working at the church booths. We always struggle to get enough people there to work on Friday. They had a bunch of men and women working and they were not all retirement age either!

I know Jim commented on Facebook about how kind and nice the people have been but I want to mention it also. The people are just amazing. They are so friendly. We stopped in a little carryout to use their bathroom and buy M&M’s and the person at the counter was listing off sales we should go to and how to get to them.

I have been surprised at how many unpaved roads they have around here. They are dirt but covered with gravel. The paved roads they do have are pot hole free!  So different from home.

We ended the day at Red Lobster because we were both too tired to cook. Tomorrow I plan to bring more water for each of us. We brought a small cooler with us but it was 89 degrees today and we both got really thirsty. There was a pretty strong breeze so that helped a lot. We talked to a man on our way out of the restaurant that was on his way to Colorado. He is from Canton, OH! Small world.

I bought some popcorn today that was made locally. I can’t wait to try it. One guy was there when I was buying it and he said that he buys a case of it every time he comes here from Minnesota. They told me we can buy it on the internet and the Minnesota guy was appalled at the thought of paying shipping! I am sure that would be cheaper than driving from Minnesota! (Or Ohio!)

I bought: a couple books, some English cups and saucers, a new crocheted blanket (for $1!)- it is really hideous but Jim and the dogs don’t care!, some ribbon, some craft and quilting  patterns, 2 boxes of Corning Christmas dishes, a Hull dish, and some Frankoma plates. Everything is still in the car so I am trying to list these from memory.

We are heading a new direction tomorrow so we will see whether that has more interesting stuff.





Nebraska JUNK JAUNT and more

Thursday, September 22, 2016

We left home on Tuesday, the 20th and headed towards Nebraska. This year we towed Jim’s car on the back of the RV. Today we started the day at McDonalds somewhere near Waukee, IA.  Found out that they have taken Bagels off the breakfast menu.  We don’t know if this is company wide or if it was only at the 15 stores that this franchisee owns. The employees didn’t know either. Jim was very disappointed. I saw people come in to order and leave without any food. I think they were disappointed too.

Interesting thing that happened here – as I was getting my iced tea, I could hear some of the retirees that gather there discussing Ohio State football!! Small world!

Our trip has been pretty uneventful so far. We did encounter a storm yesterday near Davenport, IA. Not much rain but the wind was terrible. Jim had to fight to keep the RV on the road. Of course, this was all in a construction area that was down to one lane and wasn’t where we could exit anywhere either. The wind blew so much that the car alarm in Jim’s car that we were towing went off. So in the midst of us weaving around the lane in the wind we started hearing the beep beep beep of the car alarm. I found my set of keys and went back to the back window and tried to hit the alarm button on the key fob. Nothing. It just kept beeping. Finally Jim yelled at me to hit the “lock” button. That worked. After the car stopped beeping, I turned around on the bed and we hit a bump and I fell into the drawer handles and hit my head. It really hurt!

The RV TV is not digital so we aren’t able to watch TV unless the campground have cable. So far this trip we haven’t been lucky enough to hit one that has cable. And the wifi is really spotty. Comes and goes. So I will try to keep up with the blog but not sure how often I will be able to.

Last night Jim taught me how to play Rummy. I think I learned it as a kid but I haven’t played it in over 30 years so I really didn’t remember anything. I found out that I can no longer shuffle cards. When I tried, they flew all over the RV so we had to count them to be sure we found them all. Obviously, it isn’t like riding a bike. They were new cards but I don’t think that was the problem!

Today we arrived in Kearney, NE where we will be for the next 4 nights. We plan to get up at 6 and be on the road by 7 so we will be at the garage sales by 8 am. There are over 700 garage sales at the 2016 Nebraska Junk Jaunt.(I think it includes about 300 miles.)  I have the car packed with some boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap and 3 big rolls of Christmas wrapping paper. I am ready to buy some stuff!

Yes, I did find a use for the Christmas wrapping paper I was trying to get rid of! I got a lot of Christmas wrapping paper in an auction lot and I never wrap gifts. But I found that it makes better packing paper than newspaper as it doesn’t get all that ink on your hands!  (I promise I will save some for the church craft bazaar!)

Tomorrow (if we have wifi) I will let you know how the sales went!



Our week in Seattle

We arrived in Seattle on Saturday and went to two thrift stores. The first one was a Value Village on East Lake Sammamish in Issaquah. Loved this store! Got a couple Starbucks mugs and some Pyrex. Women’s jeans prices were about $5. Pretty normal prices and lots of non-clothing items. Our son found an early model GoPro for $4 here!


The second thrift store we went to was a Goodwill in East Bellevue. This store was full of people and the prices were ridiculously high. I saw a bunch of Pyrex that I would love to have bought but they wanted $12.99 and $14.99 per bowl. Also saw some Seattle Seahawks foam item. Maybe worth about $5. They had for $25!!  A Starbucks mug was marked $9.99. For things they got for free! Did not buy anything here.IMG_0648[1]

We went to the first ever Costco in Kirkland. That was different than the one we have near us in Columbus. They had an entire aisle of bread products, a room just for milk and eggs (you have to buy the gallons of milk in 2 packs here) and a separate entrance for the pizza and hot dog snack area.The lines were really long and the return line was out the door. We did not want to stand in line to buy anything.but it was fun to compare it to our store. We then went out to dinner for dumplings and pot stickers at Din Tai Fung.  It was so good!IMG_0637[1]IMG_0638[1]

Sunday we went to Pike Place and walked around the market. We ate at Ivars and had Fish & Chips. We toured the Seattle Aquarium which was very people friendly. Not just looking at tank after tank of fish. Late in the day we went on The Underground Tour of Seattle. They took us under the streets of Pioneer Square. Seattle is really built on top of the original Seattle! I would definitely recommend this tour!


On Monday we ate lunch at XXX Burgers in Issaquah. Fantastic hamburgers and onion rings. The entire inside is covered in eclectic 50’s and 60’s decor. Barely an inch of ceiling or wall is bare. It is fun to look around and see what you remember. There were things like side mirrors, head lights and tail lights, juke boxes, and records. There were a lot of outside tables but it had rained overnight and the seats were wet. I enjoyed eating inside so we could look at all of the “stuff”!

After lunch we went on the tour of the Boeing factory. The size of the buildings is so hard to imagine. They have planes lined up as they are working on them and doors that open up and are big enough for the planes to go through.It is hard to picture what goes into making an airplane. Employees that have been there 25 years and longer get to park up close to the building. It was surprising to see how many people were parked up close! We were only allowed to take pictures on the observation deck.

We stopped at 3 Value Village stores on our way back to Bellevue. They were in Everett, Kirkland, and Redmond. They all were priced about the same. Didn’t find any more Pyrex but I bought a Starbucks mug at one of the stores. These are all nice, clean well organized stores. The prices are reasonable. They all had way more “household” knick knack items then I see in the Columbus, OH area.

On Tuesday we rode the bus to downtown Seattle and went through the Chihuly museuem and the EMP museum.The Chihuly museum had his work displayed in the building and also in the landscaping. (I think we have some of his pieces in the Franklin Park Conservatory displayed in that manner.) Love the colors. Wish I could afford some of his work!

The EMP stands for Experience Music Project. It is a hard place to describe. My favorite exhibit was about horror films. And I don’t even like horror movies!  The science fiction section was good too. Lots of movie props in both sections.

We rode the Monorail to save us some steps to get to the bus stop. Wish that had lasted longer.

We stopped at the Jubilee Reach thrift store. This store had 2 levels. Lots of non-clothing items. Lots of coffee mugs. Just didn’t find any that I couldn’t live without! The clothing prices were reasonable. There were bins scattered around that you could sort through if you wanted. There was lots more here than I expected from the outside! Clean, well-organized too.

On Wednesday we met Gavin in the afternoon and rode the bus into Seattle to watch the Seattle Sounders play Vancouver. The fans meet in Pioneer Square and then march down to the stadium chanting and singing. I wish the Columbus Crew stadium was located in a neighborhood like the Sounders stadium. It was nice to walk around before going into the stadium. Lots of coffee shops and bars and small businesses to visit within walking distance. I also am very impressed by the Seattle area bus system. We drove to the park-n-rides and rode a bus into town. Very easy, very accessible. Nice clean busses. And they are extra long with an accordion middle that swivels around corners. We did encounter a couple that were very high on drugs that sat directly across from me on the ride to the game. That was an experience that will take a long time to forget. I now know what an addict “twiching” looks like. She couldn’t stop moving her arms and legs. They both fell asleep and when she woke up and started punching him, he got up and they left the bus. I know that can happen anywhere but it left such a sad feeling in my heart.

On Thursday, we met Gavin for lunch at Microsoft. I imagined a company headquarters where there is one entrance and someone checks the cars in and out. NOT AT ALL!  This is a cluster of normal looking buildings that look like a nice college campus. You do have to have a badge to get in or be a guest like we were. We ate in the cafeteria in his building. So many choices! It is like a mall food court but on a bigger scale. There is an area that they let local businesses come in for the day. They then rotate through the different buildings  We chose artisan pizza. Of course, you have to order on a computer. Big surprise. You pick the kind of pizza you want and the toppings. They had an oven that they put the pizzas in. This was not microwave pizza! Really tasty. We got to go to the company store and the visitor’s center. Again, big surprise, the visitor’s center was very interactive. We waited for Gavin at an outside eating area that had round tables with umbrellas and gorgeous landscaping, including running water. We got to see the area where Gavin works. They can adjust their desks to either sit or stand while they work. The inside of the building has walls that are all plants to improve the air quality. So hard to describe. There was contemporary things on the wall and then one staircase had cartoon characters drawn on the walls. Lots of ping pong tables and foos ball tables. They encourage the employees to get away from their desks when trying to solve a problem.

Unfortunately, we had to say good-bye to Gavin that evening. We had a good time and are so glad we were able to visit him. We loved visiting Seattle!

I have been unable to upload the pictures with the WIFI in the campgrounds. I will add the pictures after we get home!

Thrift store in Bozeman, MT

As we were driving down the road9-18 476, I saw a “thrift store” sign so we had to check it out!  It was bigger than I expected. Prices were high on some things but normal on others. Paperback books were 50 cents. Ladies shirts and pants were $3.50.  There were 3 rooms of items and it wasn’t just clothing. The clerk told a joke to everyone who checked out. I forgot to ask what charity they were raising funds for. The store had quite a few things and that day they were running a special of 50% off women’s tops and all sporting goods. Nice store. Worth going to if you are in the area.

Day 5 & 6 – Mount Rushmore and Old Faithful

We got up early Wednesday morning and drove to Mt. Rushmore. I had never been there before. What an amazing sight! So hard to imagine all of those workers blasting rock into the shapes of those faces.

We then hopped back in the car and drove until we hit Cody, WY. The first place we went to was full so we had to drive a little farther and had to set up in the dark. We woke up to a spectacular view and 37 degrees. We drove to Yellowstone and got to see Old Faithful. When we first got into the park, there were 2 huge buffalo walking down the lane on the opposite side. They didn’t care at all that they were holding up traffic. As they passed our RV, one of them looked sideways at Jim with such a look of disgust. Wish I could have captured that in a picture. It snowed while we drove around the park and it was accumulating on the trees near the street.  I wish we had brought more cool weather clothes. I was wearing 2 jackets and a long sleeve shirt and it was so cold! Of course, as we were waiting on Old Faithful it was raining so that didn’t help.

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Day Four: Wall Drug, The Badlands, and Custer State Park

We had a busy day today.We saw field after field of sunflowers this morning. I have never seen that before. But I guess the sunflower seeds we buy at the grocery store have to come from somewhere! The fields go forever and ever. Beautiful to look at.

We stopped at Wall Drug in Wall, SD.. I remember reading about this company in college in a marketing class. Nothing exciting just lost of junk to buy but now I can say I have been there!

Then we drove to The Badlands. Amazing. I didn’t like the narrow roads in an RV. (With huge drop offs at the edge of the road! We pulled over at one of the View Points and had our lunch in the RV. Jim commented how nice it was to have our lunch with such a beautiful view all in the comfort of our air-conditioned RV!

We then went to see the Custer State Park. We took Wildlife Loop Road and saw antelope, burros, and bison!  We didn’t see the Prairie Dogs that Jim and our boys saw in 2004.

We drove on curvy, narrow roads out to Custer, SD and ate dinner at Cattlemen 140. It was just ok. As I spotted a Dairy Queen down the street we walked there to get ice cream for dessert!  We are staying overnight in Beaver Lake Campground. It is the most level campsite we have had so far!

No thrift stores today. Just sight-seeing.

Tomorrow Mount Rushmore. It opens at 5 am but I don’t think we will be there that early!