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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Tour promotes the Historic National Road

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Patricia McDaniel is traveling from Dublin, Ind. to St. Louis, and back to Baltimore on United States 40 to promote the Historic US 40 Yard Sale. Melinda Quasius Photo.
The great American road trip has been a staple vacation for families, couples, college students and anyone else who has a car and a driver's license since interstate highways opened.

United States 40 was the first federally funded interstate highway to be completed, stretching from Baltimore, Md. to Vandalia, Ill., thanks to an act of Congress in 1806.

Eventually, the road stretched to California, but with the additions of various larger highways, it now ends in Park City, Utah.

For five years, Patricia McDaniel has organized the Historic US 40 Yard Sale as a way to get people out on the road, discovering the small towns and local people located along the blacktop.

On Feb. 11, the Dublin, Ind. antique shop owner began a promotional tour that will take her west to St. Louis and east to Baltimore, all along US 40.

McDaniel stays in bed and breakfasts, and eats at local establishments -- strictly no chains.

"I don't want to eat where everyone else has, and I don't want to do what everyone else did," McDaniel said.

She talks to locals and shop owners, checks out antique stores and tries to find sponsors for her trek and the yard sale.

This year, the Historic US 40 Yard Sale will take place May 28-June 1, from dawn until dusk.

McDaniel hopes the yard sale will bring families out to explore the country while being able to easily budget for gas, food and purchases.

She said those who attend the yard sale will find "miles and miles and miles of bargains."

While in Clay County, McDaniel traded a sponsor spot on her website for lunch at Chaney's. She usually asks for the house special, and at Chaney's that meant turkey Manhattan, homemade rhubarb pie and a loaf of beer bread for the road.

"The food has been phenomenal so far," she said.

Two years ago, McDaniel made the same promotional tour, but traveled with a special companion.

Mr. Eli, her beloved Airdale/Wolfhound mix dog, spent the last few weeks of his life on the road with McDaniel. He passed after a long battle with cancer a few days after returning home.

Although she misses her buddy and mascot, McDaniel says it is a lot easier finding a place to stay without Mr. Eli.

One of her favorite stories from the last journey was from their time in Baltimore.

While visiting the inner harbor, a stranger bought Mr. Eli an ice cream cone. He gladly swallowed the treat in one bite, and then gave a great, whole-body shiver.

McDaniel appreciates the kind treatment she and Mr. Eli received on their last journey, and the remaining traveler hopes her adventure leads her to meet more interesting people on the National Highway.

"It will remain to be seen what unfolds down the road," McDaniel said.

For those interested in participating in the Historic US 40 Yard Sale, McDaniel recommended contacting the local Chamber of Commerce to find out about rules for setting up a sale.

To follow McDaniel's journey, her road journal is available at www.oldstorefrontantiques.com.

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