Thursday, November 15, 2012

Road Trip: 1 MILLION Square Feet of Stuff AND Free Overnights!

The Approach 
    The Road Trip, a great way to get something done while enjoying the amenities provided by our "homes on wheels." If given the choice of driving my RV or flying to a destination, or even driving there and staying in a hotel, I will always choose the RV. There just isn't any other way to have such a secure feeling. I mean, you have your own "stuff," your own bed, your own bathroom and shower and get to eat whatever you want. Of course, it can be a great cost savings as well, depending on the distance and the time you are staying there. Personally, I hate packing and unpacking so having my own closet and drawers is a great thing.

A Mountain!
This past season, I finally had the opportunity to take a road trip to the Cabela's flagship store in Hamburg, Pennsylvania. For those of you who don't know, Cabela's is a large national retail and catalog seller of all things outdoor. From camping to hunting to clothing they really have an enormous selection. I've been receiving their catalog for years. Catalogs are great, but there is no substitute for actually seeing, touching and handling something you want to buy. Enter the Mega Store! Cabela's opened this flagship store a few years back, it sits on a hill off US Route 78 and PA Routes 22/61 (100 Cabela's Drive) and is easily accessible. The parking lot is HUGE and, get ready, they offer free overnight RV parking AND a Fresh Water/Dump  station! There's also a free set of dog kennels and a horse paddock (!) for the use of their customers. Wow, wouldn't it be nice if more businesses cared so much about their RV customers!

Adjacent to the store itself (across the street, down a perimeter road) are several gas stations, a Cracker Barrel and a Large RV/Boat Retailer with parts and service as well as a Propane refilling station.

Enough about the outside....once you enter the store (and get over the shock) you'll see a well planned maze of outdoor merchandise. Depending on what your interests are you'll likely find it here. I, being the "frugal" (that's a nice way of saying cheap) guy I am, make a bee-line for the Clearance section. This part of the store is always worth a look. The merchandise changes often and there are bargains to be had for the smart shopper. Of course it's the size of a regular sporting goods store all by itself.

From Second Floor Balcony
I try and work my way around the first floor from there, hitting the sections I like. If you are into firearms of ANY type, be prepared to spend a lot more time here. There is even an entire antique arms "library" you can peruse with every conceivable vintage firearm.Then I go upstairs to the restaurant for a snack and the candy/sweet shop for more snacks (for later of course.) Then on to the second floor camping and cooking sections. There's also an electronic shooting arcade on this floor. Be prepared to take MANY hours to go through the whole thing. I usually get there in the evening on the first day and then finish up the following morning before going on my way.

Did I mention it isn't just shopping? There is a full sized Aquarium in the store. Oh, and a mountain in the middle that has tons of taxidermy animals all over/around/beside it...with a stream/pond complete with fish and bridges. This place is unbelievable. Besides those attractions, there is a big game museum in one corner with Lion's, Gazelles, Elephants, and a bunch of other Safari-type trophies and a separate museum for North American big game. This one has an animatronic storyteller sitting in a rocking chair in front of his rustic cabin. Press a button and he'll entertain you for a while.

I try and make this a return stop for any trips I take going to the South. It's really on my way home and is simply a great area to check out. I can refill my water tank and stay for the night. I'm not really all that outdoorsy...I don't fish or hunt, but I do like camping gear and gadgets, lots of nice clothing and food. I am in NO way affiliated with Cabela's at all, with the exception of spending too much money there! I just like the place is all. Yes, I know that's obvious. Trust'll like it too.

Early Morning in The Lot
Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


  1. Arrived there about 4pm once,figured a quick look,dinner then sleep.Didn't work out that way. A few hours looking around before went to dinner.Next day spent about 4 more hours looking and shopping.It could almost be a day of just shopping.

    1. Anon,
      Me too! It's so difficult to explain to others the sheer scale of the place. I like to look at other peoples faces when i bring them there. Priceless!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

  2. Wow, I thought the Cabela's at Wheeling was enormous. It is, but that one's even bigger. I also don't hunt or fish, but I camp and they had a couple of camping things I couldn't find anywhere else. One of these days I need to get to the Hamburg one I guess.

    1. Calvin,
      I know, it's insanely large. I almost need blinders just to walk around. Good thing storage in my RV is limited!

      Rich "The Wanderman"


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