You’ve heard of BFE? Well, this place is even further out than that. Head due west on US40 and hang a left just past the Putnam/Clay county line. A couple more turns and you get to the gravel road that takes you back to Croy Creek Trading Post. The gate opens 8:00 a.m. on 1st. & 3rd. Saturdays but they start lining up at dawn. A lady in a sunbonnet will take your $3 (whether you’re selling or buying) and tell you to have a nice day. If you’re there to buy, park in a field next to the road; if you’re selling – head on up the hill and find a choice spot. I was lucky to have relatives already there and they saved me a parking spot.
This is NOT your father’s flea market – there is everything and anything for sale here and “Let’s make a deal” is the most popular phrase. There are new things, old things, live things, dead things and things in between. There’s small animals: chickens & roosters (you don’t want to camp next to those people), rabbits, ducks and puppies. There’s furniture: old, new, broken – use it for firewood. There’s tools of all kinds: mechanical, garden, construction, beauty shop, shiny & new, old & rusty. Need a 4-way (and not in a sexual way)? Buy it here. How about a gun? There’s several vendors selling and lots of folks walking around with them. See someone with an interesting item? Ask them where they got it or maybe just buy it from them. Deals are made up and down the road. Around dusk the vendors start covering their goods and settling down for the night. Small fires were allowed; no electricity, no water – if you need it, bring it with you. Looking out over the field just as the sun was setting I thought: this must be what a pioneer settlement looked like when they headed West. Little wisps of smoke from the fires, the air turning cool, crickets chirping, the porta potty door slaming . . . . G’night!