Reporting Live From the Front Lines

Here we are, our second REI yard sale of the year. We’re reporting live from outside the front of the Cary, NC store as we sit on our crash pad reading the paper.

By we I mean Claudia, Andy, Greg and I. Right now it’s 7:28am and there’s about 25 folks here. We arrived last night at 12:30am, and were the first ones to arrive!

We promptly attached a list to the door, with our names at the top. Clearly.

THE LIST: 7. So last week the first guy there put up a list. We learned from this experience, and thought it might mean we wouldn’t have to get up at 5 and could just sleep instead. Basically it keeps things fair and allows everyone to be friends instead of constantly worrying where you’re standing and whether or not you’ll lose your spot. Reason it’s not a 10 is because we realized later it would have been awesome if we’d created it ahead of time on the computer and inserted the REI logo to make it look super official and like they actually created it. Note to self for next time… Addendum to this rating. The guy who works at REI just unlocked the doors, saw the list and said “Awesome. Awesome”. That’s right. Our list is apparently awesome. Rating goes up to an 8.

10. Clearly. How could it get any better?

We then pitched the tents and set up camp for the evening.

S’MORES WITHOUT A CAMPING STOVE: 6. Thanks Claudia. We were supposed to have a camping stove for s’more making and while I must give her credit for remember the makings, her ability to remember the stove is rated a 0. Therefore we got creative and made some uncooked s’mores for dessert. While clearly not as good as the real deal, the sweetness was just what we needed so I still think it earns above a 5. Plus it was funny watching people try to eat them.

This morning we got up when the first people arrived, I checked in with a guy at the door who agreed to man the list so I promptly returned to bed.
We got up for good around 6:30, packed up all our tents, and joined the rest of the crowds at the front door to get our numbered tickets.

GREG’S ABILITY TO PACK MY TENT: 9. Andy and I folded it nicely and then wrapped it around the poles but somehow it ended up like 4 inches longer than the bag. And yet Greg managed to make it fit. Well done ☺

QUALITY OF SLEEP: 2. Must say while the camp out was pretty sweet and a great use of Friday night, the sleep quality wasn’t quite as fabulous. My sleeping pad was a little thin, it was a little cold, and the street sweeper and leaf blower came by about 5 times at 5:15 in the morning. After having gone to sleep after 3 (thanks to awesome roomie talk with Greg=9), this left me with about 2 hours of sleep. Could have been better, but really, totally worth it

Younger crowd here than at Durham last week, which has created a little more of a social situation. Some skateboarding, football and rugby playing are keeping people entertained until 8 when it’s predicted they’ll start handing out numbers. We’re all making our mental lists of what we’re going for and what we’re willing to pay, and plotting where we’re going to get breakfast once we get our numbers.

At about 7:50 the guy in charge came out and started handing out numbers, using our list 🙂 Which means, we got tickets numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4! We then headed off to breakfast to eat and go to the bathroom (finally!)

VEGGIE OMELETTE: 5. Nothing to write home about, but definitely tasted great this morning with a hot coffee, great company and entertaining conversation.

ANDY’S ABILITY TO EAT: 8. So our waitress told us the omelettes on the menu came with 3 (or was it 2?) eggs. Andy laughed at her, and then asked if she could make it with 6. She agreed, and Andy continued to eat non-stop for the next 30 minutes including his extra large omelette, homefries, toast, and an extra order of homefries. Impressive to say the least.

We then headed back to REI, got in line and were the first ones to the yard sale!!! We scavenged, grabbed, pushed, dug and collected everything and anything we could get our hands on. We then brought it to the edge of the parking lot where we started to go through all of it. We tried on shoes, checked out headlamps, and blew up sleeping pads to check for leaks, holes, damages or anything else that would make them not worth it. Overall I must say we made out pretty well and had a good time doing it 🙂


BRINGING THE FANNY PACK BACK: 10. To revisit an old rating from the first week of blog existence, this idea is still a 10. And even better, it’s also now a reality. Found an ass pack (which I think is a way better word than fanny pack) today for only $13, rather than the $60 they normally go for. Quickly replaced my purse with this, got a couple odd looks as I sported it around Durham and LOVED it. Keep your eye out. If you start seeing fanny packs everywhere, you know where it started.

ANDY’S TRIPOD/DECORATIVE HAT: 8. Believe it or not that awkward thing on his head is actually a tripod. And is also actually pretty brilliant. I got a smaller version for less than 10 bucks, and it has these wiggly/moldable legs that can stand up like a tripod, or wrap around tree branches if there’s nothing else to set it on. Brilliant, and I think is going to help a lot with the self-times on my new camera 🙂 However Andy, when you put it on your head people can’t tell how cool it actually is. Or how cool you actually are…

OVERALL CAMP OUT: (See group scores below) Hopefully they’ll comment and let you know why it earned that score, but to speak to mine (and my weird distorted finger) it was a blast. I had so much fun with great people, met other friendly folks, and scored some great deals. You just can’t beat $.83 hiking socks is all I have to say.

Until the next time, loving this ten 🙂



  1. Hi Janice, this is Dan Gemmell. Hope you remember me haha. Anyway, your blog is amazing. I think the concept of the tens thing is truly genius. It’s such a great way to sum up things and, as you do, you can sum it up with both hands! You just got yourself a loyal reader! My blog sucks compared to yours, but you should check it out. Alright, hope all is well, take care.

  2. I meant to tell you–I have a gorillapod too! It’s also QUITE nice for, say, taking self portraits without having your arm in the picture. Matt and I used this A LOT on our trip to/from oklahoma.

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