Travel Tuesday: Bass Pro Shop

Many of 3Po and Jammy's soccer tournaments are held in Manteca.  It's about 90 minutes from where we live, so if they have an 8:00AM game, we usually drive up the night before and stay at a motel.  Whenever we go there, we see the huge Bass Pro Shop, right off Highway 120.  The more experienced soccer parents have been telling us to check the place out, so we finally stopped by for a visit last November.  Boy was it worth the trip!

The Bass Pro Shop in Manteca definitely qualifies as a shopping destination.  If you're an outdoor enthusiast, it's a must-see: they sell anything and everything you'll need for hunting and fishing, from the tiniest fly to motorboats and ATVs.  They also sell clothing and equipment for camping, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, bird watching, barbecuing, tailgating, and more.  If it's done outdoors, they'll have it!  Even if you're not the outdoorsy type, the store is worth a visit, even if all you do is look around.  This store is like a cross between the Disney Store (cool decor) and REI (cool outdoorsy merchandise; well, some of it, at least).

The Good
Here's what I loved at the Bass Pro Shop:

There's a GIANT TREE right smack in the middle of the store, people!  And you get to walk right through it!

The nature displays are crazy-awesome! The front staircase has rocks, wolves, and mountain goats.  The back staircase is even more over-the-top, with bears, deer, a walk-through waterfall, and a tank with live fish. The only thing that would make the decor even more mind-blowing would be having the animals move (hey Disney, maybe you can help Bass Pro with the animatronics?).
Bass Pro Shop

Some of the merchandise is pretty cool.  My favorite items were the waterproof boots (they looked great, and were much cheaper than the ones I see at REI!) and the outdoor deep fryers (Alfie has been craving a deep fryer for outdoor chips, and we almost bought one on the spot).
Bass Pro Shop

The beautiful Craftsman-inspired light fixtures (although I could have done without the antlers).

The food and souvenir store (how can you not like a section whose sign reads FUDGE?).

The Smokey the Bear fire alarm.

The coin-operated shooting gallery for kids (and grownups who act like kids) to enjoy.

The archery range, where customers can try out the merchandise before they buy (unfortunately it was closed during our visit).

The Bad
Here's what I didn't like:

The Glory Be to Guns attitude.  I don't want to start a debate about the Second Amendment on this post, but I'm just not a gun supporter, and I found the sight of so many guns quite distasteful.  They've even got barbecue lighters shaped like M-16 rifles!

The NRA recruitment table in the middle of the gun section.
Bass Pro Shop

I'm not sure how I feel about all the deer.  On the one hand, how cool are those displays?  And it's mind blowing how they sell deer decoys and deer scent you rub into your skin and clothes!  On the other hand, I hate seeing the stag and buffalo heads mounted on the wall.  Real or fake, it's just not my idea of nice decor.
Bass Pro Shop

The Ugly
Whether you like guns or not, surely you'll agree that there simply must be better fashion choices for the gun-toting female!
Bass Pro Shop

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