Friday, August 29, 2014

Cabela's Greenville Visit

Cabela's Greenville, SC. Photo courtesy of Cabela's
A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned that I hoped to visit the new Cabela's store in Greenville, S.C. on the way to Columbia for the Forrest Wood Cup. I did indeed get to make that visit happen and had a big time exploring the store. Upon arriving in Columbia, I jumped straight into Cup coverage, and I've sort of been playing catch-up ever since I get home. Thus the delayed report. Still, I'd be remiss to not share a bit about what I saw.

I turned right, upon entering Cabela's. That led me toward the camping department, which has a cool and distinctively regional d├ęcor. Wall displays highlight state parks and wilderness areas throughout South Carolina's mountainous Upcountry. Each includes images, basic park information and a piece of a topo map that provides a sense of what's there. I appreciated added the local flavor, and having enjoyed time in most of the highlighted areas, I found myself lingering there a while before continuing through the store.

Regional displays in camping area. Photo courtesy of Cabela's
Like any Cabela's, the Greenville store has everything an outdoorsman could ever want, a Bargain Basement, the feel of a giant outpost and gazillions of fish and game mounts throughout (including full-body mounts of North American game animals on a mountain side the back of the store). My favorite parts, though, and the places where I hung around the longest, were the fly tying section and in front of the aquariums.

The tying stuff actually caught me. My supplies at home lacked olive, which is pretty important to the way I like to fish, so I was unable to escape without olive bucktail, marabou and thread (plus a few other things) finding their way into my basket. I also made good use of the opportunity to pick from a lot of jigheads and get the head shapes and sizes and hook sizes that would work best for the bugs I like to tie. I've already had fun playing with that stuff since getting home.

Giant aquariums filled with game fish always fascinate me, and I can spend way too long watching the fish, dreaming about those I'd like to encounter in the wild and seeing how the species are true to their normal distinctive behavior patterns, even in a big tank. At Cabela's I thought it was cool that they had distinctive warm- and cold-water tanks, which together offered glimpses of a large representation of the freshwater fish we catch in this part of the country. I also had fun playing with my GoPro and got a couple of photos that I thought were pretty cool for aquarium shots.
GoPro view of the warmwater aquarium. Jeff Samsel photo.
Beyond specific highlights and sections, I liked just roaming around Cabela's, looking up, looking around, and happily realizing I was only an hour and a half from home. Next stop for me is the Acworth, Georgia store, which is even newer than Greenville and about the same distance in a different direction!

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