It occurs to me that I've never written about one of my favorite things. This is my favorite store in the world. When they drop the big one (does anyone really say that anymore?) we'll be ready to survive in the woods because of this store. We first discovered the place when we were traveling out west last summer. We saw one in Omaha by a hotel that we were interested in. When I told my dad about it, he kind of got this grin on his face, and said that he loved Cabela's. He showed me catalogs from the store and all of the stuff that they had. We even had made a plan to take a day trip up to the nearest one, a hundred miles or so away, but it didn't quite happen. We did end up stopping at one, though, on our way home as we passed through Nebraska on the way back. In fact, it was the very first Cabela's store in Sidney, Nebraska. I spent over $500 there on my first visit.
The camping bug hit me hard last year, and we had bought the rudimentary supplies necessary to go from Meijer, Target, Wal-Mart, and the like, but once we had a night outdoors together under our belts, I knew this was something we were going to do a lot. And so, when we first walked through those twelve-foot doors, I was in heaven. Everything you can imagine that you would need for camping, hunting, and fishing is there under one roof, and at reasonable prices.
On that first trip I bought all of my school clothes for the year, paying $16-20 each for comfortable casual pants that are really tough and durable, along with shirts that have reinforced elbows (I spend a lot of time groveling, so that comes in handy) in a variety of colors. I bought black socks that I swear upon all that is holy make your feet feel as good at the end of the day as they do when you first put them on, even after ten hours on your feet. They cost $11.99 per pair, but are worth every penny. I experimented with one pair, and the next time I went, I bought four more pairs so I would never have to go without them at work.
We bought collapsible air mattress frames that essentially make your air mattress into a queen-sized bed, elevating you some 18 inches off the ground. They collapse into tight travel bags that roll on wheels. These were key to making Magi's experiences camping into something to look forward to instead of something she tolerates just for Sera and me.
They have cookwear and camp chairs and fire rings. I bought a fire ring yesterday and set it up out in the back yard. I bought stuff to make S'mores last night, but it never stopped snowing long enough to go out and make them today.
The really fun thing about Cabela's is that it's more than just a store. It's a museum. They actually have aquaria with live game fish, so that kids and adults alike can see what they look like when they don't have hooks in their mouths or when they're filleted on your plates. They have stuffed examples of all kinds of wild game, from deer to elk to antelope, to elepahants and grizzly bears. They have a restaurant that serves game as well. So, next time you want to try some elk, head on over to Cabela's!