Maple Syrup Festival

I went to the Maple Syrup Festival at Whitetop VA on March 28th and had a pretty good time.  The first stop was at the volunteer fire department to get information and find out where and when everything was going on.  The main part of the festival is actually about four mile away at the school house.  The fire department had hot dogs and chicken (? I think).  I know that they had maple syrup for sale that was made at the sugar house in Whitetop, because we bought some.  The next stop was the school house where they had a pancake breakfast and a crafts show.  Considering how many hundreds of pancakes they were making they tasted pretty good.  The sausage was probably the best I have ever eaten, it was not hot and a very good consistency.  We bought a few items at the sale and moved on to the Sugar house where they make the maple syrup.  On the way there we stopped at a church that was having a youth cookie and bake sale.  I forget the name of the church but they had some beautiful stained glass windows.  After a tour of the sugar house we went on a ride to the top of Whitetop mountain which was actually white (photos below).  Next stop…The Harvest Table in Meadowview VA (review later).


Cooks Point and Wheeler United Methodist Church Yard Sale

On the way home from work I stopped by the Cooks Point Community Garage Sale in Kingsport. There were about 5-6 houses having sales. I did not get there until about 1:00 PM so it appeared that most of the good stuff was gone. The people I talked to said that there were a LOT of people there earlier in the day even in the rain. The sale did not start until 8:00 AM and one lady said that there were people that at 7:00. I told her that I was not surprised. I looked around some but did not buy anything. One guy had quiet a few cameras and accessories.


After going to the Cook’s point community yard sale I stopped by the WHEELER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH YARD SALE. I go to this one about every year, but I was late this year so missed most of the good stuff. They said that people were lined up when they first opened. They had the usual church stuff, clothes, whatnots, dishes, some sports stuff, etc. Every year I buy some of the roasted peanuts that they sale. In the past I have found some pretty good things, but as I said I was late this year.

Creekers Barbeque

After going to an auction in Shady Valley we decided to go to Creekers Barbeque in Elizabethton for lunch.  It was wet, cold, and misty weather but still a nice drive.  I have been to Creekers a few times before and always thought it was pretty good.  They have an extensive menu so you can always find something good.  The last time that we ate there they put a little too much sauce on the sandwich so this time I told them light on the sauce.  The sandwich came out with no sauce on it which was really good because then I could put every how much I wanted on it.  Creekers has a lot of different items on the menu and not just BBQ sandwiches.



One of the things that is really nice the menu is that you can get a “meat sample” for $1.99.  That is what we did, I wanted to try the brisket but did not want to eat the entire platter so I got the sandwich and brisket sample.

IMG_20150314_123524  The other good thing about Creekers is that they have homemade desserts.  You should check to make sure that they have enough when you get your food because they may run out if you go back after you have eaten.


They also support local sports and UT, except for some UT (former) people.




Creekers Facebook page Here




Historic Plumb Alley Day

This was the third of fourth year I have been to Abingdon Plumb Alley Days.  It was the about the same as usual this year, lots of vendors with a few true Yard Sale people.  The weather was great and a little on the cool side early.  I had just got from Disney World the day before where it was 95 degrees.  More about that at Disney 2014.  We, me and my other brother Darrell, got there about 7:45 am.  The official start time was 9:00 am, but as everyone knows if you don’t get there early all of the “good” stuff will be gone.  By 9:30 we were ready to head out.  So what did we buy.  I bought some very tasty baklava from the Balkan restaurant people.  Yes there is a place in Abingdon Virginia that sales Balkan food.  They really don’t have a restaurant as such, they normally sell at the Farmer’s market in Abingdon.  Darrell forgot his sunglasses and ended up buying about 1/2 dozen safety glasses for $2 and one of them had tinted lenses so he wore those the rest of the day.  I bought a really good looking “team Glock”   shirt for $1, and the same place had several Harley Davidson shirts for $1.  I thought about buying them for resale purposes but decided to leave them for someone else.


As with most festivals like this the neighborhoods around the festival have plenty of yard sales going on the same day.  We normally hit the house close to whatever festival is going on and this was no exception.  We almost always try to stop at any church yard sale / rummage sale, they have good prices, plus and this is a big plus – they have food at most of them.  This church was adding onto their building and raising money so we stopped there.  One thing that they had that I had not seen before was that they had FREE clothing.  Everything was for sale except the clothing which was FREE.


Next stop: various yard sales in the area.  The first stop was actually two stops.  We went to a yard sale that had us following a LOT of signs, big pink and green signs.  When we got there, ugh, not much.  Later that day on our way back to Bristol we say a sign that said “Yard Sale” with an arrow.  We followed the signs for literally miles.  It got to the point that we were going to find it no matter what.  The signs kept going.  Finally we got to the place and it was the same place we had been to before, but using a different route.  ugh!!  An obvious case of TOO many signs.

There was one stop along the road that had a field full of people.  It looked like sections of the World’s Longest Yard Sale to me, and it was pretty good.  They had very good looking motorcycle there for only $2,200 with only 7,500 miles on it.

IMG_20140524_114514      IMG_20140524_120118

Ok one stop at Pal’s and back home, well almost.  We hit a few more Yard Sales along the way.

Sullivan East and Bristol’s Finest Yard Sale(?)

Saturday (May 3rd 2014)

Went to the sale that was listed on Craigslist as “Bristol’s Finest” yard sale.  It was ok.  The prices ranged from ridiculously cheap (Free), to astoundingly high.

The next stop was at a trailer near Emmanuel Baptist Church on Weaver Pike.  This one was actually pretty good.  A wide selection of stuff and good prices.  I bought some steel wool and a small plate made in Holland.


Next stop, the annual Sullivan East High School yard sale.  I have been to this one several times in the past years and this year it was smaller than normal.  I usually go to get some plants from the East horticultural department because their plants are good and cheap.


Bonnie is always a regular seller at this yard sale

Bonnie is always a regular seller at this yard sale










Next stop, Elizabethton for the Carter County Armature Radio swap meet.  My brother Darrell is a ham radio operator and wanted to stop by there for a few minutes.  It was a typical ham radio meet/get together with folks “tailgating” and trading.  Darrell bought a few cable connectors.


La Cucina (Mountain City)

We went here a couple of weeks ago and it was great as always.  Not only is it the best Italian food in the area it is one of the best restaurants I think.  I hate to advertise it too much because it may start getting crowded, but on the other hand I want them to get plenty of business and stay open.  Since it is such a small place I made a reservation a few days ahead of time.  When we arrived the place was about half-full, meaning there were about three groups already seated.  Yes inside there are only six to eight tables.  There is also seating outside in and enclosed room with one table.

To start with they bring out bread that was made that morning.  I could make a meal from just the bread, foccacia and ciabatta.  The special that day was ravioli stuffed with mushrooms and truffles.  Three of the five people in our group got the raviolis and it was very good.  When use the bread to sop up the sauce from the main course you know it is good.  I had the Bolognese, which I have had before but it is so good I can’t seem to order anything else.  Donna had the shrimp and noodle dish (I forgot the name).  Actually I have never had anything bad from here.  We had the tiramisu and some sort of meringue dessert.  Both very good.



IMG_0164La Cucina IMG_0165

6811 Hwy 67 W
Mountain City, TN 

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Reviews from tripadvisor




I have been to this sale for the past several years and it is always about the same.  I like the sale pretty good because there are normally a lot of ordinary “yard sale” people there, not too many professionals.

The sale starts at 7:00 AM and people start lining up before then of course.  Gray 2014 (4)We, me and my other brother Darrell, got there about 6:15 AM and got in line with the other cars.  We were about the tenth car in line.  There was only one entrance for people going to the sale.  One entrance and three lines of cars trying to get into one line to pay to get in.  The gates opened at about 6:30 and we all proceeded in a fairly orderly line to the parking area.  You pay as you enter with your car.

There were two buildings that have stuff for sale in them, both were closed until 7:00 AM.




At exactly 7:00 they let us in and the mad rush began.  We normally divide and conquer, I go one way and Darrell goes the other.  We rarely have anything in particular in mind to buy.  Gray 2014 (5)







Gray 2014 (1)

You can read about our buying philosophy HERE.





After the sale we saw a sign right outside the entrance that said “Yard Sale This Way”  It was at the Gray community centerIMG_0096 (Medium)