Fire sale

Great California Garage Sale is a part of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to fill the gaping hole in the state budget. Surplus items as well as items seized by the CHP were put on sale in the Department of General Services Surplus Property Warehouse in Sacramento. Everything from office furniture to automobiles, from computers to coat racks, could be bought for pennies on the dollar. I checked out the department’s Website and saw there was also camera equipment listed. Although the Web site didn’t say specifically what was for sale, I thought it might be worth taking a look see.

People line up to get into the Department of General Services Surplus Property Warehouse looking for a bargain at the annual Great California Garage Sale in Sacramento (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/9. ISO: 200).

The sale was from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, but I heard radio reports of people planning to start lining up at 4 a.m.. Not being a morning person, I wasn’t about wake up that early, big bargains or not.

Thousands of people line National Drive in Sacramento to get into the Department of General Services Surplus Property Warehouse looking for a bargain at the annual Great California Garage Sale (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 300mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200).

I arrived around 9:00 a.m. and parking, in lots several blocks away from the site, was hard to find. After about 15 to 20 minutes of searching, I found a spot. As I walked toward the warehouse, I noticed people coming toward me, heading away from the sale. At first I thought these were people who had already been to the sale and were done with their bargain hunting. Then I realized that there were all empty-handed. When I got to the building I found out why. They were obviously discouraged by the long line of people waiting to get in and decided just to leave without even going in. The line filed down National Drive, which was closed to through traffic, father than I could see. I estimated it was 1/4 to a 1/2 mile long.

Thousands of people line National Drive in Sacramento to get into the Department of General Services Surplus Property Warehouse looking for a bargain at the annual Great California Garage Sale (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 300mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200).

I talked to a woman about 50 yards from the front of the line which was moving slowly, but at least it was moving. She said that she had gotten there at 8 a.m. and that it took her more than an hour to get to where she was.

Tony Bofolwer of Fair Oaks and his mother Mary Bowfolwer push office chairs they bought at the annual Great California Garage Sale in Sacramento (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 300mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/9. ISO: 200).

With the help of some family members, Tony Bofolwer of Fair Oaks pushed out office chairs he bought at the sale. He said that they arrived at 6 a.m. and the line was already about 100 yards long. He said by the time he left, the pickings at the garage sale were slim.

I had to come to work today and didn’t have a lot of time to spend so ended up like those first people I saw walking away, and I just turned around and came home.

I don’t know if much will be left, but If you’re an intrepid bargain hunter, the sale continues tomorrow (7 a.m. to noon at 1700 National Drive, Sacramento).  Just make sure to get there early.

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