Got Lost Bags?

After leaving Jake’s Uncle’s house, we set off for Scottsboro, Alabama, home to the country’s Unclaimed Baggage Center. We were very excited to check this place out. When luggage is lost or unclaimed, if the airlines are unable to return the luggage to its owner, it goes to Scottsboro, Alabama where it is opened, sorted, clothing is cleaned, and everything is set out in a huge but organized thrift on steroids.  The bizarre difference is, the original owners of the items never intended for them to be sold to new owners; these were items they actually wanted to keep.  The majority if items there were, of course, clothing. Everything from formalwear, to ethnic/international clothing,  to baby clothes, to underwear and lingerie were for sale. Additionally, the store had an abundance of electronics (lots of ipads and iphones) and DVDs, most of which did not have cases, I’m assuming because they came out of laptops or DVD players.  It was weird seeing what items were most popular with travelers that lost their baggage, sometimes a pattern was evident down to the brand and model.  Like the wall full of TI83 calculators.

A lot of TI83 calculators – and a lot of kids not getting their math homework done!

Many snowboard boots.

A showcase full of Ibook computers.

All in all, I don’t think either of us were as happy with the Unclaimed Baggage center as we were hoping to be but it was still a fun experience. I left with a couple of new-to-me books and Jake was able to purchase a projector for $150 and a Japanese pull saw, (which apparently he had been wanting?) It was branded with the Handyman Club of America label and there was an entire pile of them there. Jake speculates that they were going to/from a conference where they were being given away as gifts to members. He found the saw in the Annex which was a separate building home to tools, household items and other oddities.  This building was the most like a traditional thrift store.  The only thing Jake found in the Annex building that was truly unique and in which someone would not typically be able to find at a thrift store was a mini sluice box used for panning for gold.  Someone must have been watching too much gold rush on tv and accidentally left their sluice box on the carrousel.

A pile of Handyman Club of America, Japanese style pull saws.

Unclaimed sluice box. Time to mine some gold!

We finished at the Unclaimed Baggage Center, had some leftover ham, cheese, crackers, and potato salad for a quick and easy lunch and got back on the road, still a little unsure of where we were heading next, since we had gotten a much later start leaving Tennessee than we had planned to.

We were about an hour away from something Jake had found on Roadside America’s website that we wanted to check out. Not completely sure of what we’d encounter there, we gave Wade a call.