I Joined the Fleet Farm Cult

Tara and I recently discovered the awesomeness that is Fleet Farm.

Prior to moving out here, we’d never heard of the store before. It’s one of those Midwest chains, like Menards and Culver’s, that people in other parts of the country are oblivious to. I bet few people around here are familiar with Fred Meyer or WinCo, so it all balances out.

When they announced back in 2019 that Fleet Farm was building a 190,000-square foot store in Rapid City, I thought, that’s a hell of a lot of space for farm supplies. While it’s true that they do carry farm supplies, they also sell clothing; shoes; hardware; hunting, fishing, and camping gear; sporting goods; toys; auto parts; household and home improvement goods; and groceries. The Rapid City store also boasts an auto service shop for oil changes and tire rotations, a gas station, and a convenience store.

Stepping inside for the first time was like the scene in Christmas Vacation where Clark spots the perfect Christmas tree and the “Hallelujah Chorus” is playing. The place is so immense, I was afraid I might get lost somewhere between aisles 317 and 828 without a map, but somehow we made our way through the cavernous store without the aid of a breadcrumb trail (which we totally could have laid down, because of course they sell breadcrumbs).

The best way I can think of describing Fleet Farm? It’s as if Cabela’s, Walmart, and Sear’s had a lovechild. Don’t ask me to explain how that would even be biologically possible.

We emerged 45 minutes later with a plastic rain gauge, a metal grate, tin snips, and a pair of flip-flops. We almost added a cat tree and a 5-lb. bag of mixed nuts to our cart, but decided to save those for next time. If we hadn’t exercised such strong willpower, we might have ended up like this guy.

Pretty cool store, though. We’ll definitely be back!

It’s starting to look a bit like spring around these here parts.

This means Tara is in full-on gardening prep mode now. Her grow lights are hung and her seeds are sprouting.

Last year, she filled our patio with potted plants…so many, they formed a barrier around the perimeter. That was the plan for this year too, but there was the pesky matter of that huge stack of firewood piled up on the patio. Thanks to an unusually warm winter, we didn’t burn nearly as much of it as we’d planned. I decided to tackle the problem yesterday by bringing as much of it into the basement as I could and stacking the rest in the garage.

This turned out to be a major project that left me sore all over, but I have to admit, I like having the firewood in the garage! It’s a lot easier to fetch a couple of logs from there than having to brave snow, wind, and cold.

The good news: I don’t think we’ll need to buy more wood this year. There’s plenty left to get us through a couple of summer camping trips and the entire next winter, I’m sure.

After all that work, we enjoyed our typical Saturday frivolity of cards, cocktails, and records in the basement. We grilled burgers after dark and were able to kick back in front of our new fire table.

Yes, it was every bit as cozy as it looks! Along with our comfy new patio chairs, I foresee a lot of outdoors time in our future…

…but probably not this week. My parents had been planning on flying in Thursday for a brief visit before jetting off to Texas the following Monday. But they’ve had a change of heart after seeing our weather forecast and ended up cancelling on us.

The Texas part of their trip is still a go, but South Dakota is not. The nerve!

Admittedly, it doesn’t look great, so I can’t blame them too much, I guess. We’ll see them in June, and it probably won’t snow then.

Emphasis on “probably.”

14 thoughts on “I Joined the Fleet Farm Cult

  1. I’ve never heard of Fleet Farm, but also never heard of WinCo or Fred Meyer or Culver’s. I have heard of Menard’s . . . I think there’s one in Amish Country! Lol, I’m not sure why we don’t have anything besides Walmart and Target. I did hear that there is a Meijer’s being built in Cuyahoga County and it sounds ginormous like a Fleet Farm. I’ll have to check it out,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is why regional chains fascinate me. I would’ve thought you guys would at least have Culver’s out there. But alas, you do have Skyline Chili…and that’s at the top of my list for our upcoming trip!


      1. Not in the CLE, but I guess Cincy has it. My inlaws came from that area and introduced me to the delicacy, but I’ve only ever eaten it homemade (using Skyline’s envelope of seasonings).

        Ok, I just looked it up and I guess there are 2 in Northern Ohio, but nowhere near me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I grew up in a small city that was surrounded by farms. To not be part of the Fleet Farm cult was impossible. Oddly enough once I grew up and moved to a big city no more Fleet, BUT Menards and Culver’s we got. Can’t escape my roots no matter where I go. As for your parents not visiting you, sorry about that but it is darned cold where you are and they say TX in spring is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

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