So! After 4 hours of uploading the other day, I just managed to upload 17 pictures in about 6 minutes. Guess where I'll be blogging from now on? (NO, not the laundrymat, but at least in town a bit - they do have a cute cafe here).
So without further ado, I give you what has to be the biggest Bass Pro Shop on the planet:
This place is HUGE! And we had no idea that the whole huntin'/fishin' market was going so upscale. This particular Bass Pro Shop had....a Starbucks. HA!.
The inside was extremely impressive. Look at this! So Fancy! (Also, we were a bit embarrassed to be walking around taking pictures of the Bass Pro Shop like some kind of bumpkins who had never seen fancy things like Indoor Plumbing and Them Thar Purty Camoofloge Sofas!)
And for the woman who wants to hit the town but camouflage those 5 lbs of Halloween candy weight gain:
This Bass Pro Shop also had a fish restaurant in it, and so we decided to splurge on the whole I Am An Outdoorsman experience and eat lunch there. Noel had a fish sandwich - served on a very chic plate, even! I had popcorn shrimp, which were tasty but not as photogenic. :)
After we left there, we decided to go by a shop we had seen on the way into town, Mid-Continent Leather Sales (http://www.midcontinentleather.com/). Neither of us had ever been in a leather shop, and this place was fascinating!
They had skins, from steer hides to ostrich. The owners were very friendly and showed us around, suggesting pictures to take (I love when people do this - it makes for such fun because they tell stories and explain things that we wouldn't normally appreciate).
Not only did they have skins and leathers in all different colors (notice the steer hides made to look like zebra, leopard, etc above? Also the owner said that the pink skins come from a cow farm in Lithuania that grows pink cows and give strawberry milk. He said one woman actually believed him once. HA. The ostrich skins were pricey - $50 per square foot, so each skin was worth $800-$900. Now, I love to sew and such, but that's a LOT of pressure to cut stuff right the first time.
The owner makes chaps, and showed us a fun pair he had made for his grandson. A different pair were on the wall as displays:
They had fun silver stuff to put onto your leather items, and a thousand different types of buckles and pins and decorations. They also had the small stamps for punching leather - this is how they make the textured designs and art on leather. Using a variety of these small relief stamps, they hammer them onto the leather, impressing the design into it. Impressive, to realize how much time it takes to do something like a saddle! They offer classes, and if we were going to be here for very long, we both were interested in learning.
They also had snakeskins (don't look, Rachel! Of course, they're dead snakes, so you might not mind so much.). These are anaconda. They also had rattlesnake. These were so thin - it seems impossible to actually make anything out of them without tearing the skins. It's amazing that they're apparently durable enough to make things like boots and wallets.
Also, for the old sewing machine enthusiasts out there (I know who you are....me), check these out! Old leather sewing machines.
After a fun trip there and a small purchase (Noel got a neat silver pirate pin for his jacket and I got a leather bracelet), we decided to walk around downtown Wagoner a bit. Is this not the cutest little downtown? It looks like Mayberry or something. There aren't a lot of businesses, and the ones that were there (including the little history museum) weren't open when we went by. However, we've seen a fair amount of renovation on buildings and homes in the area, and wonder if this town isn't coming out of an economic slump.
Noel organizing his toolbox: