It was way back in 1986, I was driving through the panhandle of Nebraska when I can remember seeing a small sign pointing me to the southwestern Nebraska town of Sidney, and a Cabela’s store. It was just a few miles off of US 26, I took a left and wound up shopping at my very first Cabela’s; fact is this was indeed the very first store…who would have thought that they would have followed this one store up with 71 more!
I was young then and poor, probably still am, but a real bargain was what I was looking for and thus I entered the old brick building and made my way down to the Bargain Cave. It wasn’t too organized and you really had to dig around to find your size…but the prices were exactly what I needed. I didn’t know it then, but my love affair with the Cabela’s chain had begun.
This past Saturday, the 22nd of August, found me, dad and Jonas driving north to Noblesville and the new central Indiana Cabela’s; it would be my 14th store to shop/visit. I might be getting on in years but it still feels like Christmas each time I am able to visit one of these stores and this day was no different. As we neared exit 210 off of I-69 I could see a big, new building to the west and sure enough the crowds of people gave it away…we had arrived.
The new Cabela’s is located at 13725 Cabela Parkway and is an 82,000 square foot store located in the Campus Parkway area of Noblesville; which I might add is quite a yuppie area and thus there is all sorts of shopping to be had or as they say, “Something for everyone”…so guys you can have the gals dump you out and they can go shop just a mile or less away for all sorts of lady items. Truth is you could spend a day in a Cabela’s as they have so very much to see and do.
They offer products and gear for nearly all outdoor activities and for all members of the family. The store is literally filled to the brim with hundreds of wildlife mounts as Cabela’s works with national, regional and local taxidermists to create the highest quality displays. There is a large mountain replica, an aquarium, indoor archery range, as well as a fudge shop, deli, boat shop, Gun Library, Bargain Cave and literally thousands of outdoor items to shop for.
The new store is also a boon to the local economy as it employs more than 175 full-time, part time and seasonal employees, most coming from Noblesville and the surround areas. Nationally Cabela’s employees more than 17,000 passionate folks who love the traditions established way back in 1961 by Dick and Mary Cabela. If you don’t know the story of ‘the beginning’…it is a pretty cool start. Dick and Mary first started by selling flies, yes fly fishing flies, from their own kitchen table. They did so by placing an ad in the Casper Star that would be Casper, Wyoming where I spent my first 6 years teaching. That first attempt was a bust but the couple continued on (as most good entrepreneurs do) and one thing led to another…and 71 North American stores later (with 16 more stores to be opened over the next two years) Cabela’s is a name know all over the world.
You might wonder why Cabela’s, what is it that I love so much…many things; they sell quality products, often it’s the only place I can find very specific fly fishing and hunting materials. When I call the folks on the other end are ALWAYS friendly, kind and courteous. I have never had a conversation that didn’t go well. Secondly I like their return policy; Cabela’s states that they will take back a product for any reason. I heard a story once that a hunter out west had had a pair of boots for eleven years and they wore out. He thought they shouldn’t have deteriorated…sent them back and yes, they made good on their policy!
Throughout the year, each store will offer Educational courses on various topics so as to better inform and educate the public about techniques and activities that can help them make the most of their outdoor adventures. If you’d like to see a schedule of the upcoming events and seminars then go to the Cabela’s Noblesville web site.
If you are wondering about other stores in our area; there is another store located up north in the Hammond, Indiana area and a store located in the outskirts of Louisville. My favorite Cabela’s store is located just west of Kansas City and is one of their largest with an African wing full of mounts from the Dark Continent. If you are ever driving through KC on I-70 make a point to stop in at this store, you will love it.
Fall is just around the corner and I hope that if you are in need of a few supplies or maybe just looking for a fun day trip you will point your car north and take in Indiana’s newest Cabela’s…I know that if you do you will certainly Enjoy the Great Outdoors.