Just got back from my much anticipated trip to Virginia to attend the Rt. 11 Yard Crawl.

If you enjoy finding treasures at yard sales then I’m sure you can relate to the excitement of attending 43 miles of them in one day! An added bonus for me is that the route winds through some of the most beautiful and scenic country of Virginia (the Shenandoah Valley) and near some prominent battlefields of the War Between the States (Kernstown, Cedar Creek, Fisher’s Hill, New Market).

Last year at my first stop, I purchased this bird bath for the side of my smokehouse for a whopping 25 cents! Where else could you possibly find such a unique item but at a yard sale?

Last year’s purchases also included some old tools and kitchen utensils – things that were made in America and will last forever. This year my purchases included an old dresser for $5, an old tin box, an iron “thing,” a tea pot that whistles, a new pot with a lid, and an old framed picture of Lincoln. All told, we came home with a Jeep packed full and spent $23.

My friend had the best find this year with what looks like an old “multi-purpose” tool. As you can see in the picture, it is a nail puller, a hatchet, and a hammer. Pretty neat! I looked up the trademark engraved in it and found a company in New England in the late 1800s. We already have it hanging on the smokehouse!

For those not familiar with the area, Rt. 11 runs parallel to I-81 and winds through beautiful countryside. There are quaint Virginia towns every five to seven miles – most with no traffic signals. We went down on Friday this year and did a little bit of early-bird shopping. It is a good idea to get an early start on Saturday (they advertise the opening as 7 a.m.). The yard sales run from Stevens City to the North, to New Market, to the South.

As the name suggests, the “Yard Crawl” is a slow drive, but everyone is so friendly and in such a good mood that it doesn’t seem to matter. People trying to cross the road to attend yard sales on the opposite sides are waved across by motorists, and, despite people pulling on and off the highway, I heard no honking horns and witnessed no angry “gestures.”

If you live anywhere near Virginia, I highly recommend the Yard Crawl for a weekend getaway that combines history, adventure and bargain hunting.


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