Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cabella's mountain of taxidermy

For those of you not familiar with the Cabella's store in Dundee, MI, then you may well never have thought of the possibility of the existence of a mountain of taxidermy, let alone a mountain of taxidermy situated (literally) in the middle of an outdoors-store as big as a WalMart (but with massive timber columns supporting a cupola -- instead of a flat roof).

The juxtaposition of stuffed animals (with name-boards a la natural history museum) against racks of shirts and trousers, and the "gun library" in the background is still jarring each time I see it. Even from the "Carnivore Cafe" on the second floor, or from the "outdoors motif" furniture section (yes, you can purchase a massive arm chair covered with flannel), customers can still see the bighorn sheep at the top of the impossibly impossible faux mountain (complete with a "waterfall" emanating from the top of the "mountain", and fake pines growing straight out of fake rock).

Why was I at the Dundee Cabella's? Well, because the Michigan chapter of the American Fisheries Society was having its annual meeting and conference there. Although I did not present, there were many presentations that were very interesting and useful for my own understanding of things. (Plus, holding it at Caballa's meant that the registration cost was quite low, since -- I think -- Cabella's probably charged AFS Michigan only a nominal fee sine they were likely expecting that many conference-goers would purchase stuff in the store.) The only thing I purchased (other than registration fees) was a late lunch on Day 1 (a smoked elk sandwich and a salad), but I was eyeing some of the merchandise on sale...

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