Traveling to different parts of the country on vacation has become part of my families plans over the last number of years and we've tried to make a point of visiting each of the Bass Pro Shops close to the region we're visiting. A few months ago, we finally got the chance to visit the Memphis Pyramid which now houses one of the largest retail shops I've ever been in that was totally dedicated to a single company. Totally "Gobsmacked!" as the Brits would say, is the only word I can possibly use to describe the scope and scale of the place. I didn't think it would strike me so profoundly because I'm an employee of the company, but boy was I mistaken.
I visited the store with my wife and two other couples but we became separated within a few short minutes upon entering the doorway because it seemed that everyone picked a different direction to head. I spotted one of the many aquariums and had to stop and see the fish, while others wondered off into the clothing, sunglasses, or fishing sections. I really don't know for sure because I spotted something else of interest the moment I turned from the aquarium glass. The retail space is amazing, given the amount of equipment but you have to look beyond the items for sale and take in the details of the dioramas, the water features, the freestanding elevator, the Ducks Unlimited Museum, archery and pistol ranges, restaurants, bowling alley, snack shop, Big Cedar Lodge, and much, much more. My absolute favorite is the waterways seeming to surround the retail space. They're filled with all manner of fish including paddlefish, sturgeon, alligator gar, stripers, bowfin, catfish, rainbow trout, and a whole bunch more. It seemed like another new one popped up right when I thought there couldn't be any more. Awe inspiring is a good way to put it. And imagine, one guy started the whole thing. Did Johnny Morris dream of owning a pyramid when he was younger and everything he did to this point was a step towards achieving this goal?
I know the pyramid wasn't originally designed to house an outdoors equipment mega-retailer but you'd never know that it wasn't built to Johnny's specifications. The interior has been masterfully camouflaged and decorated to give the impression of being in the wilderness, not a store. It's difficult to get a true feeling of the scope from any one location and pictures just don't do it justice so just take your time and wander around to your hearts content. Please remember to breathe and take a time out if you need to.
The Memphis pyramid is an awesome place and I highly recommend that everyone put it on their list of places to visit around the Memphis area. It's unlikely that I'll get a chance to visit the actual Pyramids of Giza but I'm glad to have been able to spend some time visiting ours in Memphis. I don't pretend that ours was built by aliens like the ones in Egypt, but in its current rendition, it was surely built by a man with a dream.
P.S. Sorry for the alien joke. I was watching "Close Encounters Of the Third Kind" while writing this.
Brian "Beastman" Eastman
White River Fly Shop